Much Ado About Nothing  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Much Ado About Nothing is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare set in Messina, Sicily. The story concerns a pair of lovers named Claudio and Hero who are due to be married in a week. To pass the time before their wedding day they conspire with Don Pedro, the prince of Aragon, to trick their friends, Beatrice and Benedick, into confessing their love for one another. The prince's illegitimate brother Don John, however, jealous of both Don Pedro's power and his affection for Claudio, plans to sabotage the coming wedding.

Contents

Adaptations

There have been several notable adaptations of Much Ado About Nothing.

Television

There have been several screen adaptations of Much Ado About Nothing, and almost all of them have been made for television. In 2005 the BBC adapted the story by setting it in the modern-day studios of Wessex Tonight, a fictional regional news programme, as part of the ShakespeaRe-Told season, with Damian Lewis, Sarah Parish, and Billie Piper.

Film

The first cinematic version in English may have been the 1913 silent film directed by Phillips Smalley.

The 1984 BBC Television version stars Lee Montague as Leonato, Cherie Lunghi as Beatrice, Katharine Levy as Hero, Jon Finch as Don Pedro, Robert Lindsay as Benedick, Robert Reynolds as Claudio, Gordon Whiting as Antonio and Vernon Dobtcheff as Don John.

The first sound version in English released to cinemas was the highly acclaimed 1993 film by Kenneth Branagh. It starred Branagh as Benedick, Emma Thompson as Beatrice, Denzel Washington as Don Pedro, Keanu Reeves as Don John, Richard Briers as Leonato, Michael Keaton as Dogberry, Robert Sean Leonard as Claudio, Imelda Staunton as Margaret, and Kate Beckinsale in her film debut as Hero.

The 2001 Hindi film Dil Chahta Hai is a loose adaptation of the play.

In October 2011, Joss Whedon announced a film called Much Ado About Nothing. The cast includes Amy Acker as Beatrice, Alexis Denisof as Benedick, Nathan Fillion as Dogberry, Clark Gregg as Leonato, Reed Diamond as Don Pedro, Fran Kranz as Claudio, Sean Maher as Don John, Spencer Treat Clark as Borachio, Riki Lindhome as Conrade, Ashley Johnson as Margaret, Tom Lenk as Verges, Romy Rosemont as the Sexton, and an unknown, Jillian Morgese, as Hero.

Other

The operas Béatrice et Bénédict (1862) by Hector Berlioz and Much Ado About Nothing by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1901) are based upon this play.

Another adaptation is the 1973 New York Shakespeare Festival production by Joseph Papp, shot on videotape and released on VHS and DVD, that presents more of the text than Kenneth Branagh's version. The Papp production stars Sam Waterston, Kathleen Widdoes and Barnard Hughes.

In 2006 the American Music Theatre Project produced The Boys Are Coming Home, a musical adaptation by Berni Stapleton and Leslie Arden that sets Much Ado About Nothing in World War II America.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Much Ado About Nothing" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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