A Production of TNT Theatre Britain

By William Shakespeare
Directed and edited by Paul Stebbings

Touring Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Taizhou, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Zhengzhou, Hefei

Suzhou, Ningbo, Yantai and Qingdao

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Is Much Ado About Nothing a comedy not always funny, a tragedy with a happy ending, a thriller, or a dance theatre even? The answer is yes to all these questions – MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING defies categorisation but at the same time it reveals Shakespeare’s genius. Shakespeare knew that profoundest truths are often revealed through laughter whereas sorrow is not so unique. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is part of a long tradition of dark English humour that starts with Chaucer and continues to this day - Dickens, Wilde, Charlie Chaplin and Beckett all contributed to the genre. Beckett’s famous line: “Fail, try again, fail better” is clearly related to the glorious title of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
Tragedies have closure (or catharsis). These dark comedies touch us because they resonate and ask us if all our petty cares and self-deceptions are much ado about very little.

Our approach to the play is to try and explore its extremes, not to flatten it by making its conflicting moods and fast changing values into one harmonious whole. We embrace the baroque, with all its exaggerations and super-realism. This allows the play to breathe and allows us to be grotesque – a key word for TNT theatre – and we think for Shakespeare.  Besides, the Baroque was entertainment, a release from Christian art and a lot of fun. This is a comedy where the audience is supposed to laugh.