Review: Bell Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Sydney Opera House

| 13 May , 2011 | Reply

The minute you enter Sydney Opera House, you expect exuberant stage performance and an exceptionally talented herd of actors. Bell Shakespeare‘s young twist to Shakespeare’s beloved comedies, Much Ado About Nothing, lived up to that expectation. Even went beyond!

In its opening season in Sydney, this warm hearted, hilarious and young comedy came across as the most well projected and delightful production of the year. Tracking the life of like-minded, sharp-tongued young adults who leap in the opposite direction at the sound of ‘love’, this production is a shining gold star in Bell Shakespeare’s archival wall.

Taking the audience back to the picturesque land of Sicily, director John Bell accurately blends in the Italian with a little bit of Australian and hint of British. I’m talking about accents. But the real show stealer is lead actor Toby Schmitz. This Western Australian actor is not just the eye-candy, but also the most admirable character on stage.

When Benedick (Schmitz), Don Pedro (Matthew Walker) and Claudio (Sean Hawkins) return from war, the only thing on Benedick’s mind is how “love” is just a fictional “in-the-movies” type thing. Even though he tries to convince his mates that ‘love’ is a mere disease, Claudio finds himself falling for Hero (Alexandra Fisher). While these two love birds can’t get enough of each other, the courageous Beatrice (Blazey Best) can’t argue enough with her rival (and future lover) Benedick. This journey from pure hatred to undying love, is worth every cent of your ticket.

The acerbic wit and intelligence of Beatrice and Benedick makes the production even more exciting and alluring to watch. The concept of ‘opposites attract’ is brilliantly portrayed in this two hours and 40 minutes production. The vintage costumes in confectionary shades of bubble pink, fluro green and yellow are a treat to the eyes and work well with the pastel backdrop on stage.

If you missed out on the Sydney show, then don’t cringe. The production is going to Canberra and then Melbourne. Perfect for a first date, I say.

Much Ado About Nothing is in Canberra from May 9 till June 14 in The Canberra Theatre Centre and in Melbourne from June 9 till June 25 in The Arts Centre. You can book your tickets here:


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