“Much Ado About Nothing” is one of William Shakespeare’s most well-known plays. The primary plot turns on the courtship and scandal involving the young Hero and her suitor, Claudio, but the witty war of words between Claudio’s friend Benedick and Hero’s cousin Beatrice often takes center stage.
The play is being performed in the Robert E. Johnson Theatre and produced jointly with Murray State Department of English and Philosophy. It’s this year's main offering from the MSU Shakespeare Festival. Performances take place March 8 – 10 at 7:30 pm and March 12 – 13 at 10 am. It is part of the annual Murray State University Shakespeare Festival.
All performances are free for Murray State University students with ID.
March 8-10: $13 for Murray State faculty and staff (with ID) and secondary school students; $15 for the general public. (Not recommended for children under 12.)
March 12-13: $5 for all secondary school students (chaperones free); $10 for Murray State faculty and staff (with ID).
Visit murraystate.edu for more information.
“Much Ado About Nothing”
Set in Messina, the play begins as Don Pedro's army returns after a victory. Benedick, a gentleman soldier, resumes a verbal duel with Beatrice, the niece of Messina's governor, Leonato. Count Claudio is smitten with Leonato's daughter, Hero. After Don Pedro woos her in disguise for Claudio, the two young lovers plan to marry in a week.
To fill in the time until the wedding, Don Pedro and the others set about tricking Benedick and Beatrice into falling in love with each other. Meanwhile, Don Pedro's disgruntled brother, Don John, plots to ruin Hero and halt her wedding. Claudio believes Don John's deception, is convinced Hero has a lover, and, at the wedding, brutally rejects her.
With Hero in hiding and falsely reported dead, Beatrice persuades Benedick to fight Claudio. Tragedy is averted when the bumbling city watch, having discovered Don John's treachery, arrives and clears Hero's name. With Claudio forgiven, both couples are ready to get married.
AS well as the language of love, the comedy highlights the consequences of gossip and deception as well as the importance of honor in the pursuit of position and romance.