Much Ado offers Shakespeare’s soft side

07:35 by Kaggwa Andrew
Last week, National Theatre was under some love spell as William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing was staged.
The collaborative production by Kampala Amateur Dramatics Society (KADS) and UK-based Les Foules theatre Company revolves around the relationship of two of Shakespeare’s finest characters – the charming and witty Benedick (Brian Emurwon) who has sworn never to get married, and his equal, Beatrice (Giselle Gant), who complains that no man will ever match up to the required standard to become her husband.
Then there is the marriage of the young Claudio (Douglas Sebamala) to the lovely Hero (Gladys Oyenbot).
Under the direction of Nathalie Adlam and Peter Weildmann, the cast delivers to the auditorium’s expectations.
The music, stage, costumes and storyline gave National Theatre a Broadway feel.
Wherever this play has been staged around the world, the chemistry between Benedick and Beatrice has taken the driving seat; this time round, Claudio and Hero were a force to reckon with.
They cast them beautifully; Sebamala being such a courageous actor and Oyenbot a great completion to the puzzle.
However, it seems the other couple was still created to be stronger. Giselle simply gave her best performance.
Gisselle's impressive Beatrice
Costumes must have been the strongest point of the production especially with the way they maintained an eighteenth century feel coupled with a modern inspiration.
The music too was on point with a mixture of classic music and famous African songs like Davido’s Aye.
This production could have been flawless if it wasn’t for the Shakespeare English that gets ‘too English’ at times.
There were many times we were lost in translation of what a character really meant, yet changing such rich lines could easily affect the emotions and meanings of a line, thus we had to hang in there.
The play was well oiled with a supporting cast that included Samuel Lutaaya, Diana Kahunde, Jackson Dre Otim, Yusuf Kaija and Flora Aduk among others.
Best of the bunch must have been Lutaaya, whose spirited performance as a sly match maker Don Pedro was very impressive.

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