Does love really conquer all?
The universal theme is one that is frequently visited in theatrical performances, in music and movies. And through this weekend and next, 9M Theatre will be exploring this theme through a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
No stranger to Shakespeare, 9M Theatre has produced several of the Bard’s work previously, including King Lear (2017) and MacBeth (2019). Continuing their streak of performing some of the Bard’s better known works, Much Ado About Nothing is considered one of Shakespeare’s contemporary comedies and still holds much relevance today. The performance focuses on the bickering Beatrice (Liz Buchanan) and Benedick (Brendan Green), who use words as weapons in a sharp battle of the wits while being tricked into thinking the other is in love with them. Simultaneously, Count Claudio falls for Hero, but their relationship is torn apart by a jealous rival. Ultimately, Beatrice and Benedick join forces to defend true love- even if they are unable to see it in themselves. The original script challenged traditional gender roles and making 16th and 17th century audiences anxious about upsetting the social order. In our current society, the clever script can be a powerful exploration of the struggle for identity in what is acknowledged as a male-dominated world.
In the Bard’s day, theatre was the pinnacle of populist entertainment, typically performed in inn courtyards and Shakespeare was considered to be at the cutting edge of his craft. His development of language, iambic pentameter and structure was unparalleled. For 9M Theatre, who has found their strength in performing an interpretation of Shakespeare that focuses on text rather than creative interpretation, this bodes well; in exchange for minimal sets, lighting and props, audiences are given a purist rendition that serves as a reminder as to why Shakespeare’s works have withstood the test of time.
Hamiltonians will recognize many, if not all, of the performers in the production. In addition to 9M Theatre favourites Luis Arrojo, Liz Buchanan and Rebekah Pullen, the cast also includes Miranda Cooper (Pink Pantheon’s We All Got Lost), community theatre veteran Aramenta Sobchak and Joel Pettigrew (2019 Toronto Fringe’s Box and Hamilton Fringe’s Mercury Man: The Last Performance of Orson Welles). The performance is directed by David Faulker-Rundle, who most recently stage managed both Bad Ideas and We All Got Lost at the 2019 Hamilton Fringe, with the latter winning ‘Best in Fringe.’
Who: 9M Theatre
What: Much Ado About Nothing
Where: Staircase Theatre Bright Room (27 Dundurn Street North)
When: October 4, 5, 11 & 12 at 7:30pm; October 6 at 2:00pm
Tickets: $20, available online or at the door
More Information: Facebook Event Page