April 28 - May 7
Flow Studios, Camperdown
In the back streets of Camperdown, between the parks and Parramatta Road, as dusk begins to fall, an unassuming warehouse will transform into a bustling Mediterranean tavern. Chairs, tables and a bar will fill the space, and Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy will unfold not on a stage but all around you, complete with drinks, shanties, live music and – at one point – a disco ball.
Hero is in love with Claudio.
Beatrice would quite like Benedick to fall down a well.
Returning from war, a shipwreck brings Claudio, Benedick and their crew to Hero’s dockside tavern, with revelry and romance hot on their heels.
But a traitor plots revenge.
The war has left its scars.
And true love’s course is never what it seems.
Find a table, grab a drink, join in a song or two, then sit back and let one of Shakespeare’s most beloved romantic comedies unfold around you.
Adaptation or original? Somewhere in between. Most
of the time, we’ve merely abridged the text for time or clarity. Every so often, though, we’ve taken liberties so wild you’ll barely hear them over the Bard doing barrel rolls in his grave.
We’ve maintained the meter, only used lines from elsewhere in the Shakespeare canon, and preserved the spirit and verve of the original, but we’ve also moved bits around, cut whole scenes, put in a shipwreck, and added the very good flirting from, of all plays, Henry VI Part I.
Whether to tighten the structure, fill in the plot holes, flesh out the women, or frankly just because, our changes will infuriate Shakespeare purists and, hopefully, knock the socks off everybody else.
This isn’t traditional theatre. There’s no stage, no curtain, no neat rows of seats. Instead, the whole space is the stage, the whole space is the auditorium, and the whole space is an immersive Mediterranean tavern.
Just like your average Sydney pub, there’s a bar to one side and tables everywhere else, and drinks* for sale and a band in the corner. Unlike your average pub, however, the lights go down at 7:30 and when they come up again, Shakespeare’s beloved rom-com begins.
There’ll be music, and swords, and barrels and candles and a doublet or two. There’ll be wit, there’ll be romance, there’ll be treachery. In short, there’ll be Much Ado About Nothing, and it’ll be happening all around you – and sometimes on your table, so watch your fingers.
(*tragically non-alcoholic, due to Liquor and Gaming laws)
For insurance and legal reasons, ales and meads are off the menu, but we won’t be leaving you high and dry! Before the show and during interval you can grab a selection of ye olde drinks from the bar, including ginger beer, homemade lemonade, and spiced apple cider.
Shanties, folk songs, drinking chants – Much Ado About Nothing has them all, and we want you to join in.
Keep an eye on our Instagram; in the lead up to the show, we’ll be sharing some lyrics, sing-alongs, and general musical fun.