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Much Ado at The Court Theatre

Media Release – The Court Theatre

Much Ado at The Court Theatre

A mix of verbal jousting, slapstick and romance is set to bring MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING to The Court Theatre’s Addington stage. Lisa Chappell (McLeod’s Daughters, The Cult) and Roy Snow (Go Girls, Shortland Street) star in one of Shakespeare’s most-loved romantic comedies. A cast of 21 actors makes this production the largest staged at The Court’s new theatre.

Beatrice (Chappell) and Benedick (Snow) are two affirmed singletons engaged in a “merry war” of words until each is tricked into believing that the other is hopelessly in love with them. Meanwhile, Claudio and Hero (Kyle Chuen and Lizzie Tollemache) are so in love they can barely speak – until Claudio is fooled into thinking that Hero is unfaithful. Blundering through the plots are Constable Dogberry (Tom Trevella) and his inept night watch, providing much of the slapstick amongst the witty banter.

Director Ross Gumbley is “embracing the irreverence of the script as well as the themes of appearances, deception and sexual tension laced through the plot.” Designer Julian Southgate has created a set using forced perspective, moving staircases and visual trickery to combine the grandeur of 19th Century Italy with the idea “things aren’t always what they seem”.

“Beatrice and Benedick’s relationship set the model for romantic comedy,” Gumbley says. “The verbal jousting between the two leads is pure screwball comedy, and has been often imitated (but never bettered) since.”

Lisa Chappell last appeared at The Court Theatre as Shakespeare’s daughter in the 1998 production of THE HERBAL BED and is delighted to be playing Beatrice, “one of Shakespeare’s fieriest heroines”. Roy Snow (last seen at The Court in 2009’s ANYTHING GOES as Billy Crocker) is likewise looking forward to the weight of expectation associated with such an iconic work and character - “the anticipation of working in the new Court just increases the excitement.” Gumbley praises the chemistry between the two. “The sparks between Beatrice and Benedick are essential to the comedy – and these two bring them in spades,” Gumbley says.

Gumbley’s first involvement with Shakespeare play was a 1984 production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM with the Riccarton Players. With The Court’s new theatre a short distance away from the old Mill Theatre, he is proud to be “bringing back the bard” to Addington.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by William Shakespeare

Directed by Ross Gumbley

Cast: Lisa Chappell, Roy Snow, Kyle Chuen, Lizzie Tollemache, Stephen Papps, Ross McKellar, Stewart Ross, Kim Garrett, Tom Trevella, David Ladderman, Tim Bartlett, Barry de Lore, Josh Butler, Georgia Binnie, Tom Worthington, Stacey Lavendar, Tainui Kuru, Layna Hunt, James Sinclair, Emma Griffith, Naomi Cohen

Production Team:

Director Ross Gumbley

Stage Manager Cally Castell

Set & Props Designer Julian Southgate

Lighting Designer Brendan Albrey

Composer/Sound Designer Luke Di Somma

Costume Designer Emily Thomas

Choreographer Annette Searle

Production Manager Mandy Perry

Performances: 19 May – 9 June 2012

Show times: 6:30pm Mon/Thu, 7:30 Tue/Wed/Fri/Sat (2pm matinee Sat 26 May)

Venue: The Court Theatre, Bernard St, Addington

Tickets: Adults $48 | Senior $41 | Groups (10+) $39 | Student $29 | Child $19

Bookings: 03 963 0870 or www.courttheatre.orgnz


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