Thursday, June 02, 2011


Theatre at Baddow

It's the season of Much Ado – two major productions either side of the Thames, an open air national tour, and Theatre at Baddow choosing this witty comedy as their first ever crack at the Bard.
Jo Windley-Poole's lively production romped through Shakespeare's “merry war”, relishing the “clash of wits” between the worldly-wise Beatrice [Claire Lloyd, in an assured reading] and Benedick, an agreeably cynical Roger Saddington. Sometimes the words could have been given a little more breathing space, and often the transitions between scenes could have been tighter.
Scarcely a weak link in a large company - I was particularly impressed with Ellie March's young Hero, touching in the wedding scene with Jim Crozier's thoughtful Leonato. Tony Ellis mastered the space and gave resonance to the text as John the Bastard, making a believable brother for Nick Milenkovic's Don Pedro. Vicky Wright was a pert and largely unrepentant Margaret, with Beth Crozier making the most of Ursula, Hero's other gentlewoman. John Kensett looked every inch the “learned constable”, and was suitably smug – his Watchmen, though, were reduced to an old man and a couple of lads, all three played by women …
Production values were high – warm lighting, terracotta colours for the set, neat beards for the gentlemen, stylish costumes by Jane Hunt, with gorgeous masks for the ball, and wonderfully appropriate music for recorders and keyboard, played live, and specially composed for this production by Owain Jones.

No comments:

Post a Comment