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Much Ado About Nothing

Directed by Emma Austin

17 FEB — 10 MAR 2024

Approx. 90 minutes with no interval
Central Park

Experience the Melbourne Shakespeare Company's fresh take on Shakespeare's beloved comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. Directed by Emma Austin and featuring Musical Direction by Natalie Calia, it's a production filled with live music, captivating choreography, and side-splitting humour.

"Melbourne Shakespeare Company has again demonstrated its skill at modernising a Shakespearean comedy without compromising its essence." — Travels with JB

Directors Note

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies and it’s easy to see why. There’s love, deception, bumbling side characters and best of all? It could have been written yesterday. This work feels so contemporary, it’s as if every modern rom-com has its roots in this play. I challenge anyone not to fall in love with Benedick, Beatrice & their love story. 

Placing our version in the mid-1960’s has given us the opportunity to allow pop songs to help tell our story, with a vivacious aesthetic and the rumblings of early second-wave feminism running underneath. Disguised as a bubblegum film so typical of this era (think Elvis or Frankie Avalon movies, or just anything Ann Margaret would have done) our characters explore their strengths and vulnerabilities, all while belting out ‘The Kinks’. 

One of my favourite things about Shakespeare’s comedies is how much he explores male fragility and ego, while celebrating the strength of female characters. In this play we see a stubborn, protective Beatrice guarding her heart and cousin fiercely and a Benedick, whose ego is protecting his soft heart. We see a Claudio who isn’t just a villain. He’s a boy who is easily influenced and needs other people to make up his mind for him. We see Hero, who is such a strong character that despite Claudio’s shortcomings, she is willing to help him become a better person.

Working on this show has been a delight and the joy that has emanated from the cast and crew throughout this process has been wonderful. I hope you enjoy the show as much as we’ve enjoyed making it. 


- Emma  Austin

Much Ado About Nothing CAST

"This outdoor performance captivated hearts and minds, leaving spectators in awe and laughter." — Theatre Travels

Much Ado About Nothing TEAM

Jennifer Sarah Dean

Artistic Director

Emma Austin


Alice Albon

Music Captain

Bridie Pamment

Marketing Co-ordinator

JP Vizcay-Wilson

Movement Director

Michael Mack


Natalie Calia

Musical Director & Assistant Director

Lauren Wynd

Set Designer

Hannah Jukes Frere

Costume Designer

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