Saturday, 3 August 2013

Much Ado About Nothing

You wait for ages for a Shakespeare adaptation, then two come along at once - isn't that what they always say? No? Well, we've been waiting patiently since the 1993 film for an update, and within the past two years we've had two fantastic ones.

David Tennant and Catherine Tate's stint as Benedick and Beatrice was met with critical acclaim, the pair's chemistry from Doctor Who just as prevalent in their stage performance as it ever was on screen. Made available by Digital Theatre, legions of disappointed fans were able to experience the show as it was intended to be performed.

While the stage adaptation was modernised, it wasn't done to quite the same extent as the latest adaptation to hit our screens. Joss Whedon (of Avengers Assemble and Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog fame) recorded his own version with a group of friends at his own house, and the result is something intimate and compelling. 

Filmed entirely in black and white, the film follows the play's dialogue with an updated setting. Star turns from Clark Gregg (as Leonato) and Nathan Fillion (as Dogberry) are backed up by an extremely talented ensemble. Special mention has to go to Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof as Beatrice and Benedict respectively - arguably the two most important characters in any version of the play.

A superb play, excellently performed, and you get to flaunt your cultured credentials afterwards - what more could you want?