Much Ado About Nothing

Guildford Shakespeare Company celebrates its tenth birthday, and thirtieth production, with Much Ado About Nothing.

Set in 1945, Tom’s production draws on a blend of Dad’s Army, Noel Coward, and the Golden Age of Hollywood to bring a sparkling birthday production to Guildford. Set around a swimming pool recalling The Philadelphia Story, the action plays out across a large site-specific landscape.

This is Tom’s fourth summer production for GSC and features several returning actors, including GSC’s founders Matt Pinches and Sarah Gobran, Simon Nock, and Morgan Philpott.

★★★★ “Under Tom Littler’s slick direction the feel-good factor keeps bubbling up like champagne. Neil Irish’s design of swimming poolside adorned with bunting and a lawn tennis court is a place of recreation, which is skilfully used for the comic eavesdropping scenes. And recordings of big-band jazz tunes ensure the festive fun goes with a swing. As the sparring lovers, Gobran and Pinches are well matched, with their banter a kind of foreplay: Beatrice’s sardonic humour masks a tender vulnerability, and Benedick’s swaggering playboy is more sensitive than he pretends.” Neil Dowden, The Stage

★★★★★ “Tom Littler has set the play in 1940s England, with jazz, dancing and tennis on the lawn … a masterful, original interpretation … Every actor’s performance is remarkable for its authenticity and clarity of interpretation and delivery. Sarah Gobran is a feisty, no-nonsense Beatrice to Matt Pinches’ graceful facetiousness and perfect comic timing , which turns to sincerity and loyalty as the plot develops.” Janice Windle, Essential Surrey

★★★★★ “Tom Littler’s production is full of fun, cameos and jive. Set in in 1945 and a hedonistic period of demob peace, it powers along with enviable pacing but with attention to detail … Sarah Gobran, as Beatrice, has a compelling presence, squaring up to the casual sarcasm of Matt Pinches as Benedick. An excellent cast and production to celebrate GSC’s tenth anniversary.” Jeff Thomson, Surrey Advertiser

“This Much Ado has far more depth than is often remembered or indeed played. Through Tom Littler’s skilful direction, this turning point reveals many facets of the characters revealing tenderness in Benedick but also a fire within Leonata. Although set in the gardens of a country house with pool and tennis court (which is used delightfully), the informal setting changes quickly as Simon Nock’s Don Pedro slips from gentleman of leisure back into his leadership role and Richard Pepper’s Claudio visibly hardens his heart.” Amy Yorston, British Theatre Guide

Cast

Hayley Doherty, Sarah Gobran, Tim Hudson, Fiz Marcus, Simon Nock, Richard Pepper, Morgan Philpott, Matt Pinches, Faye Winter.

Creative Team

Designer – Neil Irish

Associate Designer – Anett Black

Sound Designer – Max Pappenheim

Assistant Director / Choreographer – Gabbie Bird

Fight Director – Philip D’Orleans