Arts & Entertainment

Flight Path Theatre’s Much Ado brings Shakespeare to the masses

Much Ado on now at Flightpath Theatre. Photo: Clare Hawley

By Lucinda Garbutt-Young

If you’ve always thought you should like Shakespearian work but can’t quite get your head around it, Flight Path Theatre’s Much Ado is the play for you.

This modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, running July 29-August 13, strips one of Shakespeare’s most popular scripts down to the bones. Fringe, one-scene characters have been removed, a timeless ’80s aesthetic added and the dialogue has been reworked for a modern audience.

“If we felt like we needed to look up the jokes to understand it, we would get rid of it. We wanted to put on a show that anyone could walk into and have a pretty good understanding immediately of what was happening,” explained first-time director, Maddie Withington.

Working with close friend and lead actor Hal Jones, who plays Beatrice, to amend the script was the first step in the process.

“They [Hal] brought it down to 73 pages, which is a huge reduction,” Withington said. “The way they did that was going through and finding what characters they could compress… to create comprehensive, tight storytelling.

“It’s then been about working with that text with actors has been really interesting. [We’ve seen] what’s working on the floor and what’s not.”

For Withington, directing 12 comedic actors has been a highly collaborative art that has pushed her own bounds as an artist. It’s created space for new comedy to blossom.

“The show is very funny. There were laughs in places I had not anticipated,” she said of the preview performance held.

“We’ve created this for a light. It’s for people to have fun.”

 

Until August 13

www.flightpaththeatre.org/whats-on/much-ado

 

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