Much Ado as OVO returns to St Albans’ Roman Theatre
Shakespeare performed outdoors in Roman surroundings can be enjoyed in St Albans next week.
Award-winning theatre company OVO is set to light up the ancient Verulamium stage once again, presenting Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy Much Ado About Nothing from Wednesday, July 11 to Saturday, July 21.
Summer just isn’t summer in St Albans without OVO’s open-air Shakespearean treat.
And with Much Ado About Nothing, the unique and contemporary OVO stamp on one of the Bard’s most playful texts sees the company lift the play from the 1600s and place it firmly in the 1950s.
Director Adam Nichols said: “We’re delighted to be bringing one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies to the spectacular surroundings of the Roman Theatre.
“We’ve had enormous fun creating a 1950s American diner and the fascinating characters who inhabit it, as well as bringing together some of the fantastic music of the era with the brilliantly funny play.”
Shakespeare’s play is now set in Messina, a small town in America’s Midwest.
As a new decade dawns, and the fabulous fifties twist and jive into the Swinging Sixties, girl band sensation The Sonettes are playing at Leonato’s Bar and Grill and are on the brink of stardom.
When a group of soldiers returns from the war in the far east, the world-weary Benedick and his friend Claudio find themselves reacquainted with Beatrice and Hero, and as memories of conflict give way to a life of partying, Claudio and Hero fall madly, deeply in love.
Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice reignite their own altogether more combative courtship.
Because neither will admit their love, nothing seems likely to bring them together – until the intrigues of a fallen star with a dark heart forces them to demonstrate their true feelings for each other.
Much Ado About Nothing follows in the footsteps of OVO’s award-winning sell-out summer smash hits As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and is OVO’s 17th Shakespeare production.
OVO founder Adam Nichols added: “We’re confident audiences will enjoy this production as much as our previous two summer Shakespeare productions at Verulamium.”
The production includes a live soundtrack featuring over 20 of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll and pop tunes ever written, including Jailhouse Rock, Lollipop and Great Balls of Fire.
Tickets cost £17.50 full, concessions £16, and under-18s £10.
Evening performances during the play’s run at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium are at 8pm, with 3pm matinees on Saturday, July 14 and Saturday, July 21.
Some Much Ado About Nothing dates have already sold out.
• Tickets are available at www.ticketsource.co.uk/ovo