The Australian Shakespeare Company’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING at Royal Botanic Gardens Vic, Melbourne Gardens

The stage is set as Verges ( Tony Rive) and Dogberry ( Madeleine Somers) dressed as roadies usher us to our seats on the lawn.

Set in a time where scandals could ruin a reputation we meet upon Claudio ( Alex Cooper) our lovelorn hero that has fallen in love with the captivating Hero ( Larissa Teale), and swiftly makes plans to marry her.

Unbeknownst to them the wicked Don John ( Nicole Nabout) sets out to destroy the marriage by plotting to make Hero look as though she has been unchaste.

By accusing his bride at the alter of her wrongdoing, Claudio unwittingly causes the “death” of Hero, and her reputation.

In the meantime Benedick’s (Hugh Sexton)  friends believe he secretly loves Beatrice ( Anna Burgess) and that she loves him. With the help of Hero and Leonato, they play a trick on them to stop them fighting and bring them together.

There are a whole range of dramas going on in Messina, and between reputations being ruined and deaths being faked the plot unfolds with humour and light heartedness.

Creative Director Glenn Elston has adapted the script to add in modern references that keep the timeless works of Shakespeare fresh and entertaining. Using references to popular culture such as Taylor Swift, the cast are given room to explore the humour in a fresh way. It adds relevance and comedy to the script.

With a cast that have exceptional chemistry on stage, there are excellent performances by everyone involved. However it’s Madeline Somers that really shines as Dogberry in each scene she completely steals the show, with her comical facial expressions and ability to use her voice as an instrument of comedy, she is refreshingly funny. Teamed with Tony Rive as Verges, the two are a breath of fresh air, with expert comic timing. Even though their parts are relatively small compared to other cast members, both are memorable.

The gorgeous Anna Burgess brings the role of Beatrice to life with a seriousness and passion that is captivating to watch. Indeed the entire cast delivers fabulous performances, and having a familiarity to each other they perform well as a team.

The Australian Shakespeare Company has had a series of successful shows over the summer, and each work has brought to life the magic that is Shakespeare. The cast and crew have the ability to captivate and enthral audiences with their unique style and modern takes on timeless work.




WHERE:The Southern Cross Lawn – Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens

100 Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, 3141

SEASON:23 February to 17 March 2024

PRICES: $25 – $115 | (03) 8676 7511 | Via Ticketmaster

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