Much Ado About Nothing - 2015
Don Pedro and his men, including soldiers Claudio and Benedick, return from a victorious battle to the town of Messina to stay with Leonato, the Governor of Messina. Leonato’s daughter, Hero, and his niece, Beatrice, also live with him.
Claudio is introduced to Hero and immediately falls in love with her. He is too shy to approach her himself and enlists the help of Don Pedro, who agrees to speak to Hero on his behalf later that evening.
Jealous of Claudio, Don Pedro’s brother, Don John, tells Claudio that Don Pedro is actually intent on wooing Hero for himself. But Claudio soon sees through this deception and asks Hero’s father, Leonato, for permission to marry her. Hero, who has fallen in love with Claudio, is delighted and they set about arranging an immediate wedding.
Meantime, Benedick enjoys a love/hate relationship with Beatrice who he has known for many years. Both proclaim they have no interest in marriage but the others led by Don Pedro decide they will trick Benedick and Beatrice into proclaiming their love for each other.
Don John continues to spoil everyone’s happiness and plots to disrupt the wedding of Claudio and Hero. His servant, Borachio, flirts with Hero’s maid Margaret. Don John tricks Claudio and Don Pedro into thinking it is Hero who is being unfaithful. At the wedding the next day Claudio decides to humiliate Hero. Unbeknownst to them, the Watch (led by Dogberry and Verges) overhear Borachio boasting to his friend Conrade about the successful deception. They are immediately arrested and interrogated by Dogberry and Verges but when Dogberry reports it to Leonato, he is too busy with wedding preparations to hear what has happened and dismisses Dogberry. The following day, at the wedding, Claudio announces that he cannot marry Hero as she has been unfaithful. On hearing this, Hero faints at which point Claudio, Don Pedro and Don John leave the wedding.
Supported by Friar Francis into believing Hero’s innocence, Leonato and the others decide she should pretend that she has died in order for the truth to be revealed. Beatrice and Benedick declare their feelings towards each other and Beatrice makes Benedick vow to kill Claudio for publicly shaming Hero. Meanwhile Dogberry and Verges bring Borachio to Claudio and Don Pedro to reveal the truth of what happened and how it was Margaret not Hero being unfaithful. Claudio is deeply ashamed of his behaviour and agrees to marry Leonato’s ‘niece’ instead to make amends; a niece who happens to look just like Hero. At the wedding, the niece reveals her true identity and having come back to life, Hero forgives Claudio. Beatrice and Benedick finally admit their love for each other and also agree to be married. Don John is reported as being captured and the play concludes with a grand celebration.