Shakespeare goes to war, as his  comedy gets an update to 1918

Rehearsals for Much Ado About Nothing by Titchfield Festival Theatre
Rehearsals for Much Ado About Nothing by Titchfield Festival Theatre

One of Shakepseare’s best loved comedies is getting an update – to the end of the First World War.

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the Advance to Victory in August 1918, a crucial turning point in history which led to the Armistice. In Titchfield Festival Theatre’s new adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, the Prince and his entourage are returning home from the conflict.

Director, Emma Bevan explains her passion for the history of the period, the strong characters as well as Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece:

‘Much Ado is typical Shakespeare at his best; it is good fun, there is love, romance and of course some characters in disguise. The play is an extremely visual comedy, which means that it is easy to follow as well as enabling the audience to appreciate the witty and rich dialogue, written in such beautiful prose.

‘The play also has a strong female character too in Beatrice, whom I admire. She is clearly ahead of her time, a young woman looking to make her way in the world; however, as well as maintaining her independence she still wants to fall in love and get married. I am sure many of us will identify with Beatrice in today’s modern world.’

Emma adds, ‘I hope that in setting this play at a time of hope and looking forward, we have stayed true to the dark edge of this comedy as it is still as funny, giddy and delightful as Shakespeare intended.’

The theatre gives thanks to the Royal British Legion which has provided information which will be on display. There will also be collection boxes for the legion at each performance.


Titchfield Festival Theatre

August 28-September 6