dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Much Ado About Nothing review at Dundee Repertory Theatre – ‘plays it for laughs’

Ewan Somers and ensemble in Much Ado About Nothing at Dundee Rep. Photo: Tommy Ga Ken Wa Ewan Somers and ensemble in Much Ado About Nothing at Dundee Rep. Photo: Tommy Ga Ken Wa
by -

No modern settings or costumes.  No relocation to another time. This is a very traditional Much Ado About Nothing. Directed by ensemble member Irene Macdougall, this production plays it for laughs – and they are plentiful, thanks to a sterling performance by Robert Jack as the reluctant suitor Benedick. His performance is a lesson in how to react – his face and body eloquent, his squirming done with subtlety and great comic timing.

He is not alone in having strong comedy chops. Antony Strachan (Dogberry) and Ann Louise Ross (Verges) make telling contributions in their too-brief appearances, while Jo Freer brings a bit of good Glasgow banter to the role of Margaret. Even the choreographer is in on the act – Emily-Jane Boyle’s dance sequences are hilarious in their quirkiness (there’s even a bit of the Twist in there).

This play of love won, lost and won again is given weight by experienced ensemble member Emily Winter as Beatrice, and there are admirable performances from graduate actors Marli Siu, as Hero, and Ewan Somers, as Claudio.

Ken Harrison’s huge, atmospheric set makes full use of the expansive Dundee Rep stage area, all marble and granite effects with imposing pillars and walls like giant shower-screens, bathed in glorious Mediterranean sunshine and sunk in shadow by lighting designer Mike Robertson.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Verdict
Laughs abound in a traditional staging of Shakespeare by a skilled ensemble
^