TWU’s SAMC Theatre presents Much Ado About Nothing

Fast-talking dames. Smooth-talking gangsters. Slapstick, sass, and a battle of the sexes. Is it Shakespeare or screwball comedy? Trinity Western University’s production of Much Ado About Nothing is both. 

TWU’s Angela Konrad directs a stylish, imaginative adaptation that brings back the magic of old Hollywood. While a distinguished design team turns up the vintage glamour, the show swings to an underscore of 1930s jazz in the style of Cole Porter. And it’s packed with singing and dancing, thanks to TWU alumni Kaylee Harwood (’09) (choreographer) and Julie Casselman (’13) (composer).

One of Shakespeare’s most beloved couples, Beatrice and Benedick know how to crank up the chemistry with their witty wordplay. They’re perfect for each other, and everyone knows it—everyone except them. While they try to prove they hate each other, their friends cook up a deliciously elaborate deception to make them fall in love. All is fair, and funny, in love and matchmaking!

“The audience will have a blast watching these characters fall in love, hate each other, want to kill each other, and still run into each other’s arms,” said Cody Friesen, the fourth-year BFA acting student and Abbotsford resident who plays Benedick. In his turn as a romantic lead, Friesen runs the gamut from debonair dancing to goofy physical comedy. “Love can surprise you, make you sentimental, or drive you mad with jealousy, whether you’re in Shakespeare’s time, or 2014.”

Amid all the song, dance, and romance, Shakespeare’s likable (and dislikable) characters mix high society with slapstick buffoonery. “It’s a comedy, so there’s a lot going on and plenty of room for surprise,” Friesen said. “And for those who don’t see a lot of Shakespeare, the music and visual antics keep it fun, fast, and easy to follow.”

There’s much ado in this flirty Shakespearean comedy, and when all is said and done the boy just might get the girl…if she doesn’t get him first.

Much Ado About Nothing features an impressive cast of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts actors, including Brandon Bate, Rachel Lynne Bell, Tiffany Choi, Elizabeth Drummond, Charlotte Elgersma, James Faley, Cody Friesen, Sharra Ganzeveld, Audrey Herold, Teagan Plett, Jordan Rendle, Margaret Thorpe, William Tippery, and Jane Townsend. Costume design by Florence Barrett and set/lighting design by Conor Moore.

Much Ado About Nothing is sponsored in part by TWU Adult Degree Completion and runs March 11-22 at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC). Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30pm with Saturday matinees at 2:00pm. Tickets from $8 – $18 with a discounted High School Night on Thursday, March 13 (students and teachers may email theatre@twu.ca for details).  Get tickets and information at www.twu.ca/theatre or call 604.513.2121 extension 3872. For sponsorship and advertising opportunities, email Diana.Squires@twu.ca.

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SAMC Theatre | “When we chose it, the pandemic was underway but we did not realize how much it would still be our reality right now.” - Angela Konrad, Director

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