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DCS: "Much Ado About Nothing"

in Anglesey Abbey Gardens

Saturday 7th August 2010

Traditionally DCS has not had any events during the summer but it seemed a shame to have such a long break after the events of 2010 so we compromised, chose a fun event, advertised the details, and suggested all those interested meet there. A version of 'Much Ado About Nothing' was selected which was held in the beautiful grounds of Anglesey Abbey. The weather forecast was one of those that people in this country have become familiar with, that is, anything may occur! However the evening was one of sunny intervals and as the natural arena filled, the sun shone brightly. The theatre company staging the Shakespeare was the Pantaloons who have been touring the country with 5 actors. These take all the roles using a minimal set of props. They seemed to specialise in bringing out the comedy with deliberate overkill on the characters of Dogberry and his group of lawkeepers and using men for female characters and vice-versa. There were many cameos of additional material and when a shower of rain came, they continued with several add-libs. The character of Margaret was especially comical with a lot of extra lines and knowing looks!


The venue in the gardens, props, three of the company and of course, DCS.(left)
The interval just after the shower(right).

Click on a picture for a larger version)


The Pantaloons were formed in 2004 by individuals from Kent University and they say that they "specialise in outdoor, interactive performances, in a bid to recapture an aspect of Shakespeare's drama which modern naturalistic theatre has lost; the riotous energy of the clown". It seemed to us that they had achieved the riotous energy of the clown in Much Ado About Nothing. The play was produced beautifully with some audience participation but without spoiling the story, the original lines or the sense of drama when it arrived. It was a very enjoyable, polished performance and one wonders how a cast of 5 can learn all the original and added lines of this (and Macbeth) for their countrywide tour.

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