Shakespeare’s classic comedy of love and deceit, Much Ado About Nothing opens at the Victoria Embankment Garden’s open-air stage this August performed by the contemporary pop-up theatre company, Grassroots Shakespeare London.
Benedick (Ross McNamara) has only just returned from war, but he’s about to encounter an even tougher battle in the form of Beatrice (Angela Ferns). With their constant bickering in her home, Leonata (Natalie Harper) will be relieved to find a bit of peace and quiet following the wedding of her daughter Hero (Daisy Ward) to the brave Claudio (Ben Margalith). Although nobody was quite planning on the damaging schemes of Don John (Sophie Littler) and his henchmen Borachio (Hamza Mohsin) and Conrade (Stephen Emery).
With Messina being patrolled by the bumbling Dogberry (RJ Seeley) and his inept watchman (Siobhán Daly & Daisy Ward), just about anything can happen. Will anybody ever be happy in Messina? Why not come along to watch this innovative and exciting Company, and find out for yourself!
Grassroots Shakespeare London performed to great success at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Dell stage in June 2012 as part of the World Shakespeare Festival and launched the More London Free Festival at The Scoop.
In a time of aggressive arts cuts, Grassroots Shakespeare London is using their specialist skills in Elizabethan original practices to bypass expensive ticket prices and funding bureaucracy to take Shakespeare directly to audiences for free. This heady mix of professional actors with no director, no crew, gender-blind casting, no ‘fourth wall’, using only abridged scripts and a few days rehearsal, peels back centuries of theatre history and analysis to present the text in a fresh and exciting way. The shows are not stuffy, selfimportant or difficult to understand. They’re fast-paced, interactive events appealing to audiences of all ages and backgrounds – accessible, original and fun!
This highly enjoyable, interactive experience promises to immerse the audience straight into 16th century London and guarantees a fun-filled evening for all.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING CAST
Angela Ferns (Beatrice), Ross McNamara (Benedick), Hamza Mohsin (Borachio/ Antonio), Ben Margalith (Claudio), Stephen Emery (Conrade), Sophie Littler (Don John/ Sexton), Boris Mitkov (Don Pedro), RJ Seeley (Dogberry/ Verges), Siobhán Daly (Friar Francis/ Ursula/ Oatcake), Daisy Ward (Hero/ Seacoal), Natalie Harper (Leonata), Louise Olley (Margaret), Christien Bart-Gittens (Messenger)
GRASSROOTS SHAKESPEARE COMPANY was founded in 2009 in Utah, USA by an ensemble of actors led by Mark Oram and Alex Ungermann, who were inspired by Shakespeare’s original theatre practices and a passion to communicate his plays in a fun and accessible way. Following Mark’s relocation to the UK and a chance meeting with London-based actress Siobhán Daly at the Exeter Fringe Festival, it wasn’t long before Grassroots would find a UK base.
GRASSROOTS SHAKESPEARE LONDON was launched to great success in 2011 with A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the prestigious London venue Hyde Park and a 5-star reviewed production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. They are committed to bringing free, open-air, high quality productions of Shakespeare to Londoners throughout the summer and affordable venues during the winter. They have performed at the RSC as part of the World Shakespeare Festival 2012 and continue to build a reputation for excellence.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING will be the twelfth Grassroots production and fourth for the London based company.
MARK ORAM co-founded the Grassroots Shakespeare Company in 2009. Following through with the concept of original theatre practices, he aimed to explore Renaissance rehearsal and performance styles. Following the completion of his MFA in Staging Shakespeare at the University of Exeter, Mark returned to Utah to join the company’s 2011 winter production of Macbeth.
Mark Oram says, “The Grassroots actor’s job does not begin nor end of the stage, rather each performer takes an active role scheduling venues, making props, acquiring costumes and offering direction to fellow actors. In practice, the ensemble directs, critiques and manages itself. Shakespearian acting was broad, unambiguous and slightly improvisational, giving our audiences license to be more participatory.”
SIOBHÁN DALY is the Chairman and co-founder of Grassroots Shakespeare London. Since her studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she has performed in a number of roles from Daphne Bridges in ITV’s The Battle of Britain to the Oliver Award winning cast of Soho Theatre’s production of La Bohème. She performs with the BBC’s Radio Theatre Group, and created the roles of Fliss in the new work Flying Solo and Eliza in Cupidity. She presents red carpet interviews for an online entertainment website Phase9.tv in addition to acting, directing and producing.
The show runs every day from Monday 30th July – Sunday 12th August. All performances start at 7pm & are free. There is no interval & the show will finish at approximately 8:20pm.
Victoria Embankment Gardens, Villiers St, WC2N 6NG
Monday 30th July – Saturday 11th August, 7pm
Sunday 12th August 6.30pm
Matinee: Saturday 5th August, 3pm
Press Night: Monday 30th July, 7pm
Monday 16th July 2012