Much Ado About Nothing

Well that was a fun evening out. We’re on our way home after seeing David Tennant and Catharine Tate in the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing.

After a busy week of moving house we were both thinking that a quiet night in would have been the best option. Thankfully, this is one of the best productions of a Shakespeare play that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a few, so it turned out to be well worth the evening out.

This production was set in the 1980s and located in Gibraltar. Different, but it worked oh so well.

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The Beautiful Nun – Reviewed

That was a good evening. I’ve seen worse shows in proper theatres, so this was a nice surprise, because the cast and the script were pretty good.

The plot revolved around three groups. One was the Catholic school, run (or ruled) by the beautiful nun, Sister Mary Anthony. Then there’s the army, ruling the country and commanded by Captain Gonzalez; opposed by the rebel force, run by Consuela Lopez.

The actors were superb, especially considering that this play was part of their exams, which must have increased the pressure quite a bit. The exceptional actors were Sister Majella, played by Hannah Taylor, who managed to make you believe that she was a fifty year-old nun, and Captain Gonzalez played by Rob Chapman – who even managed to stay in character to the bitter end when the cast were taking their bows.

As a plot it was pretty full on with quite a bit of long dialogue, which I don’t think helped the actors. However, there were some interesting issues, and questions raised through the play.

The army are seen as the custodians of the state, where as the church run the school but don’t necessarily hold any power in the community. As was said by Captain Gonzalez, “all that was accomplished by turn the other cheek was crucifixion.” The response to this really comes in the second act, when Sister Mary Anthony argues that, “some must die for others to be saved.” The question being, exactly what part should the church play in society? Conversely, there’s the question of what part does the army have to play in the care of the people.

The resolution to the play came with some rapid death, and loud gunshots. I think the script could have brought out a lot more in the second half, instead it seemed to try to pull together a lot of strands very quickly.

I don’t know if the Beautiful Nun will ever make commercial release, but if it does it’s well worth a look.