REVIEW: Much Ado About Nothing, Salford Arts Theatre

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Is the Bard up to being looked at by a new generation? Andrew Riley went to Salford Arts Theatre to watch Lowhurst productions staging of Willam Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Well, If anyone tells you the next generation of actors can’t do justice to the classics, I say they didn’t see this production of Shakespeare’s Much ado about nothing at Salford Arts Theatre.

Bronte Appleby directs this young cast with ease, and they certainly know how to enjoy themselves on stage.

I was blown away by this cast, some of whom may yet be the next Robert Powell or Samia Ghadie if they can keep producing work of this calibre.

Shakespeare has been done so many times, but to see it performed with such gusto by at least two generations younger than I was a real pleasure.

Joe Clegg and Madeleine Healey shine as Benedick and Beatrice respectively, yet none of the cast deserve less than fulsome praise for taking on these roles at such a young age.

Joe Clegg & Madeleine Healey as Benedick and Beatrice

Joe Clegg & Madeleine Healey as Benedick and Beatrice

To see Shakespeare performed in such a modern way says a lot for the boldness of this production, and the quality of this ensemble cast, who effortlessly flit on and off the stage with costume changes aplenty.

By keeping the scenery to a bare minimum, the tale is told with a pace rarely seen, and it is all the better for that in my opinion.

There is a freshness to the piece that is sometimes lacking in more “grown up” productions, and it is a real pleasure to watch, especially on an opening night in front of a near full audience.

Nerves?

I don’t think this cast knows the meaning, or if they do, they certainly didn’t show it.

This was a really exciting production and it bodes well for the future of Salford, and it’s production of talent that stretches back way beyond Shelagh Delaney.

I failed to find any real fault with such a young cast, and they should take heart from that, other reviewers may pick apart the nuances of the play, but from such a young cast, I’d rather encourage, and not nit pick.

Salford Arts is a beacon for creativity in the City, and full credit has to also go to Scott Berry and Roni Ellis for some of the performances staged that may not be put on elsewhere.

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