The Royal Shakespeare Company and BBC Arts today confirmed that Roy Alexander Weise’s 2022 production of Much Ado About Nothing will be broadcast on BBC Four on Sunday 3 April at 8pm following its run in Stratford-upon-Avon. The filmed production will also be available on BBC iPlayer for 12 months.
This latest collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and BBC Arts features screen direction by Indra Bhose and follows the screen premiere of Erica Whyman’s production of The Winter’s Tale which was broadcast on BBC Four in Spring 2021. This broadcast also marks the start of BBC Arts’ new Sunday Night Performances on BBC Four.
Director Roy Alexander Weise said; ‘I’m absolutely over the moon to that our production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ will be broadcast on BBC Four this April. When I set about working on this play, I knew I wanted to create a version of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ unlike any that had been seen before, in the same way that audiences who watched the play for the first time wouldn’t have had any knowledge of places like Messina, Antium, Venice or Ephesus. By setting this production in an imagined future reality, we have the opportunity to see our own world through new eyes. What has the potential to be different? What capacity do we have for change? What attitudes remain the same? And are we ok with that?
I’ve been blessed to work with an incredible cast and creative team on this show, all of whom have played their part in opening up this wonderful play to audiences, some of which might not have ever felt an affinity with Shakespeare’s language or even considered his plays to be for them. Even after 400 years, there’s something that remains so fresh, so open, so alive about Shakespeare’s works and I hope this production helps to unlock some of that potential for all those who visit our ‘Messina’ this year.’
The company comprises Toyin Ayedun-Alase (Don Pedra), Micah Balfour (Don John), Rebecca Banatvala (Seacole), Michael Joel Bartelle (Sexton), Mensah Bediako (Antonio), Christelle Elwin (Messenger), DK Fashola (Friar), Kevin N Golding (Leonato), Akiya Henry (Beatrice), Karen Henthorn (Dogberry), Aruna Jalloh (Verges), Sapphire Joy (Margaret), Curtis Kemlo (Borachio), Enoch Lwanga (Oatcake), Mohammed Mansaray (Claudio), Taya Ming (Hero), Miles Mitchell (Conrade), Nicole Sawyer (Understudy), Khai Shaw (Balthasar), Luke Wilson (Benedick) and Adeola Yemitan (Ursula).
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The production features Set Design by Jemima Robinson, Lighting Design by Azusa Ono, Sound Design by Claire Windsor, Movement by DK Fashola and Dramaturgy by Anthony Simpson-Pike. Costume Design is by Melissa Simon-Hartman, a London-based artist, couture fashion designer and owner of Simon-Hartman London, whose West African and West Indian inspired designs recently featured in a powerful catalogue of music videos including ‘Mood 4 Eva’ and ‘My Power’ as part of Beyonce’s 2020 visual album: Black Is King.
The production will also feature an original score by Nigerian-born British guitarist and MOBO award-nominated musician Femi Temowo whose past collaborators include Amy Winehouse, Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Roots and Soweto Kinch.
When: SUNDAY 3 APRIL, 8PM. BBC FOUR