InReview InReview

Support independent journalism


Much Ado About Nothing


Comments Print article

Much Ado About Nothing may not win over a lot of people who aren’t Shakespeare fans, but for the converted, it’s a vibrant surge of magical comedy.

For the most part, the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild’s production is the discriminating laughter-fest and exhibition sought by Bard devotees.

The production – which is set in an English garden in 1945 and imagines Benedick (Adam Tuominen) as a returning English officer – is elevated by a number of features, including adept blocking, rich characterisation and, above all, comedic drama. In each case, director Megan Dansie must take the credit.

Arguably Shakespeare’s greatest comedy, Much Ado chronicles the interplay between two belligerent, witty and sharp-tongued singletons, Benedick and Beatrice (Bronwyn Palmer), who scorn love and the malady of the lovelorn. Both are determined never to marry. But when Claudio (Alex Antoniou) falls in love with Hero (Olivia Lilburn), the Duke’s (Tony Busch) daughter, and sinister forces conspire against them, Benedick and Beatrice are forced together.


Throughout the ages, audiences have enjoyed Much Ado About Nothing for the verbal sparring of the reluctant lovers. In many ways, the Bard anticipates future screwball comedy and romantic-comedies, with his original vision of two weddings and a funeral. Dansie doesn’t let us down with her passionate, distinctive and highly entertaining adaptation.

The production is built around a strong cast of actors who each play their characters with immense energy and emotion. Particularly impressive is Lindsay Dunn’s performance as Dogberry, whose malapropisms are delightfully timeless.

The visuals, composition and performances come together to create something quite charming. This is arguably everything you want from Shakespeare, in a way that’s idiosyncratic and distinctive.

University of Adelaide Theatre Guild is presenting Much Ado About Nothing at the Little Theatre,  Adelaide University’s North Terrace campus, until May 16.


Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More Theatre stories

Loading next article