Kenneth Branagh

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company adds a healthy dose of slapstick to 'Much Ado About Nothing'

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company adds a healthy dose of slapstick to 'Much Ado About Nothing'

"Much Ado About Nothing" is one of Shakespeare's best comedies, and has inspired two terrific film adaptations: Kenneth Branagh's in 1993 and Joss Whedon's in 2011. So the challenge for Matthew R. Wilson, who was tapped to direct the current production at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, was how to make it different from all the other versions people have seen.

Wilson set the show in "London, circa 1916-1920," says the program. It was a time when Europe's fizzy fin-de-siècle romanticism ran smack-dab into trench warfare. And that collision is echoed in the play's famous scene where a gaily garbed...

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