Review - Much Ado About Nothing
Wary of focussing exclusively on Tom Piper’s set design, I will admit it did initially make me a little suspicious of elaborate attempts to hide inadequacies within the production itself and, for the most part, such fears were completely unnecessary. Iqbal Khan’s interpretation bubbles over with life, hysterically hyperbolic yet managing to convey and retain the quieter subtleties of the text. As with Two Gents and As You Like It, Much Ado is a comedy which leaves much forebodingly unanswered: as the two pairs of lovers walk happily into the sunset, the tears and troubles of three short scenes ago clamour for attention, and Khan insists we recognise such ambiguities within Shakespeare’s text.
There were moments I found myself wondering what Will would’ve made of it all, and can well imagine him appreciating both the rip-roaring humour of this piece, before calling at times for a bit of quiet. Perhaps that’s the essence of Much Ado; if so, Khan’s offering to the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival brings just that - the world, and its noise, chaos, bustle, sadness and humour- to Stratford.