One of our rituals for rounding off the Summer Holidays is a visit to Bard on the Beach. Sometimes we get to take visitors along with us, and one memorable year we tried to go on Sunday, only to discover we’d bought tickets for the Saturday and missed it completely.
This year it was just the five of us, and we were off to see one of our favourite plays, ‘Much Ado About Nothing.” Why is it such a favourite in the Trasler household? Well, for Mrs Dim and me, it’s been a frequent theatre staple. She took my to see it for my 21st birthday – a trip to London together to see Mark Rylance and Janet McTeer in the starring roles. We introduced the weasels to it by showing them Kenneth Branagh’s beautiful movie version, and we watch it again and again – it’s great in winter, when you can almost feel the heat of the sun from the tv….
They didn’t take to Joss Whedon’s version, bang up to date and set in LA, but the Bard troupe had opted for 1950’s Italian cinema. They made some subtle changes to the dialogue, changing the Prince into a Director and the soldiers into actors, but it worked out really well. The comedy timing was amazing, and the heavier parts of the plot really caught the audience. As always, I felt sorry for Claudio, not because he’s duped so easily, but because his entire character comes across as a bit of a wet hen. This is no fault of the actor portraying him, who did a cracking job (tears in his eyes as he denounced Hero) but because that’s the way he’s written.
We didn’t mind the rain coming down – we need it here, after all – and it was a happy way to spend a cold afternoon in September.
Thank you for another great performance, Bard on the Beach. We’ll see you next year.