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Theatre Review: Much Ado About Nothing @ Gray's Inn Hall, London

24th August 2018

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Words by Louise Pumilia

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Central London, Antic Disposition’s Much Ado About Nothing was held in the beautiful and unique venue Gray's Inn Hall, which (fittingly) is one of the only remaining original Shakespearean venues from the 1500’s.  

Images courtesy of Chloe Nelkin consulting

This site specific performance had audience members immersed in the action from the moment they walked through the doors, with actors throwing us back to France circa 1940’s. The performers weren’t afraid to break the fourth wall - at one point a cast member sat on a woman's lap as part of the scene. This constant audience participation continued on throughout the production, anticipating what was to come throughout the evening.

With a venue as intimate as this one, having only 2 rows of seats and 1 row of bistro tables on either side, the cast couldn’t hide behind the stage and lights. The entire cast had the audience laughing and fully engaged throughout with emotion that could not go ignored.

Special mention should go to Chiraz Aich, whose performance as Beatrice was filled with energy and passion that drew the crowd in from the beginning, bringing the shakespearean comedy to life.

The production took full advantage of the space it was being performed in, using the elegance of the hall to set the scene in post-war France. Although it could be difficult for the audience to follow along with a story set in multiple locations, the direction and clever use of musical and comedic breaks between acts kept the audience entertained while also allowing the scene to naturally change.

Antic Dispositon’s aim of creating “innovative and entertaining interpretations of classic plays” was exceeded during this performance. All of the elements of this show played well together to create an exciting and thoroughly enjoyable interpretation of classic Shakespeare play, that had the audience buzzing afterwards.

Much Ado About Nothing is playing at the Gray’s Inn Hall in London now until September 1st Tickets can be found here.

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