On the afternoon of Wednesday 9 September the whole of Year 11 went to the National Theatre to watch ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. It was set in the 1940s on the Italian Riviera. As the curtains opened the most amazing, sumptuous set was revealed, the letters ‘Hotel Messina’ shown in dimly lit 1940s light bulbs. The set was intricate and extremely bright and inviting. The costumes were very appropriate to the time, and loud to reflect the comedic side of the play.
We were greeted with a band playing a jazzy tune. The masquerade ball was something to remember, really capturing the excitement and artifice, just as we pictured from studying the play in English. The audience reacted well to the obvious comedic elements of the play. Beatrice was played as wry and strong-minded. Benedick was presented as the witty, but occasionally hapless jester; the audience enjoyed the gulling scene when he was attacked with ice-cream and sprinkles, in his attempt to eavesdrop. The characters each had their own twist, such as Claudio who at times seemed gullible and naive, but he was not as dislikeable as he is in our reading of the play. Hero was characterised as docile and beautiful and to the masquerade ball she wore a white jewelled dress suggestive of her virtue and innocence.
Every moment we were treated to a wonderful set change, which was always an exciting adaptation that was made to suggest the 1940s glamour. We loved the scenes set on the beach, where there were old-style sun loungers and hotel staff walking around offering cocktails, in boaters and blue and white striped suits. All of Year 11 are so grateful to Ms Wilkinson for organising such a fun trip and all of the English teachers who took the Year 11s and helped organise the trip too. Seeing the play not only gave us another take on what we had studied in the classroom, but was an extremely exciting experience.
Maisy M and Beatrix D, Year 11