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Much Ado About Nothing

Author : Shakespeare

Director : Marianne Elliot

Royal Shakespeare Company : The Complete Works Festival


Don Pedro and his regiment are returning to Messina from the wars and are welcomed by Leonato, the governor of the city. Among Don Pedro's men are his malcontent brother Don John, to whom he has only recently been reconciled, young Count Claudio from Florence, who has acquired something of a reputation for bravery in war, and Benedick, a gentleman of Padua.

Benedick is a confirmed bachelor. Beatrice, Leonato's lively niece, declares herself equally determined to remain unmarried. These two are a match for each other's wit and when they meet, they immediately resume their sparring.. 

Joseph Millson Role 


"I have seen actors from Alan Bates to Matthew Macfadyen play Shakespeare’s Benedick, but – although Mark Rylance in 1992 certainly did something more strangely miraculous with the role – Joseph Millson’s performance in the new RSC production strikes me as definitive. Handsome in voice and in person, he can carry the audience on his roar and draw it into his hush. The elements of wit, anger and vulnerability are thrillingly mixed in this actor: you feel them all when he says of Beatrice “Every word stabs”. He easily lets us laugh at him, so that he clowns the famous eavesdropping scene to the hilt, but next he can be so romantically stunned that, left alone, he can hardly walk a straight line. And it is he, in love, who learns best here to transcend wit: “A college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour . . .  or man is but a giddy thing”. The Guardian


May '06 - Oct '06: Swan Theatre, Stratford

November '06: Northern Stage, Newcastle

Dec '06 - Jan '07: Novello Theatre, London 


RSC : exploring Shakespeare