Jul. 27th, 2010

lareinenoire: (Elizabeth)
Day #8: Your favourite comedy - Much Ado About Nothing

Twelfth Night is one of my favourite memories from undergrad -- it was my first big role and the cast had this really amazing rapport that lasted long after the production ended. Possibly I only feel this way because I was seventeen years old and life had been extremely boring before that point. ;)

That being said, my favourite Shakespearean comedy probably has to be Much Ado About Nothing. I could honestly watch Benedick and Beatrice forever. The year after Twelfth Night, I played Don Pedro in a gender-blind production and I must admit it still stings a bit that I never managed to play Beatrice. I don't know if I'd be any good, but she's just such a wonderful role and such a gift to an actress. And she and Benedick are such an easy couple to root for.

But the play has its darker aspects too, and that is part of what I love about it. The entire Hero-Claudio-Don John plotline reads like a test scenario for Iago's machinations in Othello, only in this case, the coincidences align just enough that things don't end in blood. One of the things I loved about the National Theatre's production that I saw in early 2008 was that they included this lovely, wordless moment between Hero and Leonato as Claudio is praying over her supposed grave where she watches him and, at the very end, gives this little nod to her father. Even if it's hard to necessarily believe in any great depth of affection between Hero and Claudio, considering they've known one another for a few days at most, there was something reassuring in that. (Of course, the absolutely best thing about that production was the chemistry between Simon Russell Beale as Benedick and Zoë Wanamaker as Beatrice, who were both just amazing.)

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