Much Ado About Nothing is Eastbourne's Shakespeare treat

Eastbourne Operatic and Dramatic Society are offering Much Ado About Nothing as their summer Shakespeare production 2022.

Shakespeare at the Italian Gardens 2022
Shakespeare at the Italian Gardens 2022

Spokeswoman Tracy Grinstead: “Now would it really be summer without EODS staging their annual Open Air Shakespeare spectacular at the Italian Gardens?

“This year’s production is Much Ado About Nothing. One of Shakespeare’s most enduring and popular comedies, it is thought to have been written in 1598/99. The play revolves around two potential romantic pairings when a group of soldiers arrive in town after winning their recent war.

“Claudio and Hero are an instant match while Benedick and Beatrice claim to dislike each other amid their long-running ‘merry war.’ Plots and schemes, both benevolent and malevolent, alter the trajectory of each pairing and the play gets dangerously close to tragedy at times. However, the battling wit of Benedick and Beatrice alongside the antics of the bumbling Chief Constable Dogberry and his Watch, make this one of the greatest Shakespearean comedies. Benedick and Beatrice in particular are often credited as having a huge influence on modern day romantic comedies, with their ‘will they-won't they’ chemistry and ‘enemies to lovers arc’! Lester Seale plays the aristocratic soldier Benedick; he previously played Romeo in 2019.

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    “Vowing he will never marry, he meets his match in both wit and sarcasm in Beatrice. Kirsten Grinstead returns for her fourth EODS Shakespeare, taking on the role of the pleasant spirited Beatrice. She was also in Romeo and Juliet in 2019 with Lester, playing Mercutio. Natsha Heath-Brown and Sean Wilson both starred in last year’s Taming of the Shrew as Bianca and Lucenzio, and they return again this year as Hero and Claudio respectively, a pair of young lovers whose romance is disrupted by the villainy of Don John.

    “It has been a rough couple of years for everyone. 2020 was the first year in 20 that EODS were unable to put a show on. Covid struck again in 2021 with the production having to close early due to cast illness. But we are back, costumes have been ironed, cakes are baking, the kettle is on and the bar is fully stocked.”

    The show runs from Wednesday, July 27-Saturday, August 6. Eastbourne Theatre box office on 01323 412000.