Monday, 16 May 2016

Much Ado: Shakespeare Part Two

I am on leave this week so, having bought tickets to see Twelfth Night, we decided to have a week of Shakespeare experiences. Monkey is a huge fan of Joss Whedon and thus we continued with his 2012 version of 'Much Ado About Nothing'. It sticks with the original language but the setting and style of filming does much to make the play very accessible to a 21st century audience; Shakespeare can often come across as people standing on the stage talking, whereas in this version the action feels much more naturalistic. It was filmed, apparently, at his home in California and as such feels something like Hollywood movie, rich people hangout out in their very beautiful home and agonising over who loves who, the sexual tension between Beatrice and Benedick muted somewhat by the use of words like 'woo' and 'thine'. In the same way as Baz Luhrmann's 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet this play counterpoints the language and atmosphere of Shakespeare with the modern setting, and yet it never feels incongruous. Maybe that just serves to remind us how universal and timeless are the stories that he tells.

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