A ‘disservice’ – Much Ado About Nothing ‘deserves far better’: review

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Beatrice (Katherine Parkinson) and Benedick (John Heffernan) are old frenemies. He is a confirmed bachelor while her past romantic disappointments fuel a scorpion wit.

Older and infinitely more cynical than their youthful counterparts Hero (Ioanna Kimbook) and Claudio (Eben Figueiredo), they have long since replaced the stars in their eyes with dark matter.

When they become involved in a plot to ruin Hero’s reputation, their joint enterprise is to find love themselves.

Simon Godwin’s production is played as a seaside farce that ignores the emotional core. The relentless sunniness and the lack of chemistry between Heffernan and Parkinson do a disservice to a play that deserves far better.

  • Much Ado About Nothing, National Theatre until September 10. Tickets: 020 3989 5455

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