A Little Bit of a Much Ado About Nothing

EVENTS 8 Aug 2022, 7:30pm

Acknowledgement

The Cast, Crew and Creative Team would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we perform Much Ado About Nothing. This land has a rich history of unique cultural and creative expression, including music, art, dance and storytelling. We perform on the land of the Bunurong people of the South-Eastern Kulin Nation people and we pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging.

Director’s Notes

Shakespeare’s play might well be called “Fools, fooling and being fooled”.

Mado (as the play is affectionately named), is about the games we play, the masks we wear and how susceptible we are to deception. Yet, beyond the courtly manners, wit and romance, Shakespeare’s comedy is about very flawed and contrary people. It’s highly subversive.

The villainy in the play is exposed by a lower-class buffoon. By mistake. Sophisticated word play veils bawdy themes and insinuations. Love is inspired by trickery and mockery. A woman’s reputation is almost ruined on the whim and malice of men. How can they be so ready to believe slander? Can the word of a mate or “bro” be so compelling? Ultimately however, order is quickly restored by marriage. Like the cast of entertaining yet flawed characters, Shakespeare’s audience are quick to be fooled and easily distracted. The ‘happily ever after’ we love and adore disguises the more troubling observations about society, misogyny and hypocrisy.

This duality is one of the most fascinating aspects of the play. As a current Year 12 English text, Mado is rich with challenges and complexity. For those of you studying the play, consider what themes and ideas have been accentuated by this production. As a truncated show, scenes and dialogue have been edited for pace and length. Do you agree with the cuts? Do the edits alter the meaning? Notice that the play is not set in any particular era. The design purposefully pays homage to Elizabethan, Victorian, 1980s and modern-day contexts. The costumes and soundtrack borrow from a range of time periods. The intention behind these choices is to highlight how timeless Shakespeare’s plays are - especially Mado.

I’d like to take a moment to honour the cast of Much Ado About Nothing 2021. We gallantly rehearsed on zoom, hoping the show might go ahead. But, like so many productions and creative endeavours in the last couple of years, we had to wait and bide our time. You will find the 2021 cast list embedded later in this program. My sincerest thanks to these students for their creativity and fortitude. Many of these graduates are now studying performing arts or pursuing their creativity beyond Aikman Hall.

So, when we applaud at curtain call, we also celebrate the unseen work of 2021.

Although much ado was endured in the last couple of years, our endeavours were far from nothing. Thank you!

Ms Nicole Smith

Director

A little bit of a Mado synopsis

Benedick, Claudio and Don Pedro arrive at Leonato's house in Messina. Beatrice and Benedick bicker with each other and Claudio, a soldier, falls in love with Leonato's daughter, Hero.

Don John, who is Don Pedro's evil half-brother, tricks Claudio into believing that he has seen Hero being unfaithful.

Meanwhile, Don Pedro and others plot to bring Benedick and Beatrice together. Claudio accuses Hero of infidelity and refuses to marry her. Leonato is persuaded to pretend that she is dead.

Hero's innocence is proven, and Claudio repents. He agrees to accept Antonio's daughter in marriage, and she turns out to be Hero after all! The trick to make Benedick and Beatrice fall in love succeeds and he proposes to her at the end of the play.

(Summary extract from BBC Bitesize)

2022 Cast

Benedick
Riley Allan
Beatrice
Liv Chegwin
Claudio
Thanh Vu
Hero
Ruby O’Connell
Leonato
James Dong
Antonio
Courtney Banks
Don Pedro
Akanksha Taori
Don Jon
Brodie Nash
Borachio
Dimitri Petrakis
Dogberry
Sam Prins
Conrade
Jordan Koutsaplis
Friar Francis
Emily Peatman
Margaret
Kim Petley
Ursula
Milly Sime
The Sexton
Isabelle Jiang
Balthasar (singer) Ball attendant
Genevieve Gray
Messenger and Watchman
Michael Sun
Verges
Emily Wakeling
Watchman/Masque ball and Wedding attendees
Chloe Forkas, Laura Burns, Harvey Garnaut and Diana Newman

Creative Team

Director
Ms Nicole Smith
Assistant Director
Mr Nicolas Waxman
Sound Design
Ms Nicole Smith and Ms Erica D’Angelo
Lighting Design
Ms Nicole Smith and Mr Matthew Sanderson
Sound and Lighting Operation
Mr Matthew Sanderson and Mr Timothy Peatman
Costume Design
Nicole Smith and Jennifer Bismire from Stage Schools Australia
Set Design
Bree Kent and Breeze Events
Chess Choreography
Mr Nicolas Waxman
Dance choreography
Emily Peatman and Mr Nicolas Waxman

Special Thanks

Mr Anthony Quinn and Haileybury’s Facilities team. You all go above and beyond to help us.

Mr Waxman for his chess knowledge and general support- it’s a blast collaborating with you.

The fine minds of the English Department for sharing their insights into the play and bounding around ideas.

Breeze Events for letting us hire your wonderful set from Goddesses.

2021 Cast

Benedick
Thomas Wakeling
Beatrice
Zuva Goverwa
Claudio
Elliot Doody
Hero
Narisha Ford
Leonato
Cameron Bishop
Antonia
Akanksha Taori
Don Pedro
Rufi Zimbudzi
Don Jon
Alex Hawkins
Borachio
Riley Allan
Dogberry
Sol Cotter
Conrade
Brodie Nash
Friar Francis
Lachlan Russell
Margaret
Amber Caspers
Ursula
Eleanor Joyce
The Sexton
Emily Peatman
Balthasar (singer) Watchman
Rhian Aoun
Messenger
Roger He
Watchman
Courtney Banks
Verges
Sam Prins