Much Ado about Nothing
The level of acting was consistently good and showed the unmistakable authority of an important and established theatrical troupe…William Hutt, a Stratford stalwart from the very first season, was here making his directorial debut… and he staged the play in a manner that is resourceful and at times amusing. But the production is never illuminating; it offers no true insight into the play which is acted as if it were an Edwardian farce, which it isn’t. Shakespeares Messina, as designed by Alan Barlow, has become a Messina at the end of the century, complete with a café and campily comic waiters bustling around like Feydeau clichés, stuffed peacocks and costumes that looked as though they had been frightened by Aubrey Beardsley, and everything is dripping with art nouveau chic… Simplicity and style are more important than gimmicks, and it is the directors insight that is being tested, not his ingenuity. (Clive Barnes, New York Times, 9 June 1971)
KeywordsHouse Cast Real Magic Careful Dignity Comic Waiter True Insight
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