Instead of writing about the actual talent that was truly insurmountable during the performance of Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s The Globe, the real focus of this piece is the people who put it together. The people who were able to bring this spectacular story to life in a surreal and wonderful way for its many viewers.
This particular production of Shakespeare’s play is set during the armed struggles of the Mexican revolution. The audience is given a different take on an age old story. The actors perfected the flow from line to line and dance to dance.
The story itself is straightforward and not one of Shakespeare’s more complicated storylines. It is endearing and witty while also being extremely poignant at the right moments in time. The actors filled the roles perfectly from the second they stepped on The Globe’s stage to the second they stepped off.
The first scene of Much Ado About Nothing is set as a group of Mexicans are shown riding on top of a train during the Mexican revolution. Once the train has stopped, the magic of the play truly begins and makes one forget he or she is going to be standing on their feet for three and a half hours if they happened to have chosen the standing yard section The Globe has to offer to its audiences. The actors descend from the train top, and it is a flurry of action henceforth as they are shown preparing for a meal, laughing jovially with one another, singing and dancing. It was almost like not watching a play at all but instead stepping into the early 1900s.
The two main characters, Benedick and Beatrice, who are played respectively by Matthew Needham and Beatriz Romilly, were two who stood out the most. They both play their characters with the perfect amount of cynicism and wittiness that audience members quickly begin rooting for the two to fall in love with one another as soon as they first exchange their sharp tongued of dialogue. The actors so easily capture their audience’s attention and quickly become a crowd favorite, especially since they are so often seen looking into the crowd as if saying, “Can you believe this guy?”
The other main characters: Hero, Claudio and Don Pedro are played by Anya Chalotra, Marcello Cruz and Steve John Shepherd, respectively, were nothing short of spectacular as well. Anya Chalotra plays her character with the soft innocence you would expect from Hero. From her soft singing from on top of the train and the window of her home, to the way she moves fluidly across the stage she is the perfect representation of innocence. The best part of her character though is how many layers you are able to see in such a short amount of time shown by Anya Chalotra. She may play the part of innocence perfectly, but she also shows that her character can wield a gun like no other and certainly has a sharp as knives tongue as well, though maybe not as such as her cousin Beatrice.
Marcello Cruz and Steve John Shepherd are also two to be on the lookout when watching this particular show. They both play their characters with a certain ferocity but are always ready for a good laugh with a beer in hand at any given time. Their acting is so wonderful in fact, that on the many occasions they are seen standing on stilts with fake horse heads attached to their chests to symbolize the riding of said horse, it may have made some audiences giggle in disbelief. But the two say their lines, while on stilts, with such poised eloquence the audience forgets the stilts and can only focus completely on the two actors on stage.
Overall this particular production of Much Ado About Nothing at The Globe Theatre was nothing short of surreal because of the people on stage. The few that are mentioned are by far not all the stage actors who brought this wonderful story to life. Every single person that helped to put this show together did so with so much diligence and detail. The actors and actresses from this performance of Much Ado About Nothing are an incredible group of people that Shakespeare himself would be proud of. It is truly incredible having been able to have the opportunity to watch in rapt attention as their story unfolded.