One of the classic comedies of William Shakespeare gets a new treatment in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Much Ado About Nothing. Directed by Iqbal Kahn, he has translated the vibrant comedy to modern day India. The production stars Meera Syal and Paul Bhattacharjee who play the sparring lovers, Beatrice and Benedick. Following its premiere last month in the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford upon Avon, the play transfers to the Noël Coward Theatre in London for five weeks from 24 September.
Talking about his modern day Much Ado, director Iqbal Kahn has said, “The production is set in modern Delhi which provides a very interesting lens through which to view the play because of the parallels between early modern England and modern day Delhi: the hierarchical structures are similar; the relationships between masters and their servants are still present; the importance of honour; the centrality of women within that; the idea of bloodlines, and how daughters continue that on – if a daughter is found to be iniquitous the bloodline is tainted. All of these ideas are absolutely still current in modern India.
The other thing is that the formality of engagements and the courtship rituals around them are still very present in India. So, the parallels and the opportunities to explore these aspects in Much Ado in an urgent and modern context make presenting them refreshingly compelling.” You can read the synopsis here
With music by Niraj Chag the cast includes 21 British Asian actors and actresses including Amara Karan as the wronged young lover Hero, who also starred in the film All In Good Time alongside Meera Syal. The cast is completed by Kulvinder Ghir (Borachio), Madhav Sharma (Leonato), Sagar Arya (Claudio), Raj Bajaj (Balthasar), Rudi Dharmalingam (George Seacole), Neil D’Souza (Conrade), Shiv Grewal (Don Pedro), Ernest Ignatius (Antonio), Aysha Kala (Watch), Muzz Khan (Hugh Oatcake), Darren Kuppan (Messenger), Robert Mountford (Friar Francis), Simon Nagra (Dogberry), Chetna Pandya (Margaret), Bharti Patel (Ursula/Verges), Garry Pillai (Don John), Peter Singh (Sexton), and Anjana Vasan (Maid).
Check out the trailer for the play
We also have a cool pre-production video
About the production design
Plus the Audience reaction
Part of the World Shakespeare Festival you can purchase tickets for Much Ado about Nothing at The Noel Coward Theatre, London www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk