Updated: Aug 22, 2019
If you went down to the woods on Tuesday (the campus woods near the Pavilion, that is) you would have been rewarded with a rather enjoyable surprise. Not exactly a Teddy Bear’s picnic, but certainly within the same spectrum of pleasure, was a production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in the wonderful new Hurtwood amphitheatre. Amidst leafy sunshine, between puffy English clouds (a really brief respite in the wettest June we can remember) and with all the bonhomie that Hurtwood can muster as the exams move towards their close and summer beckons, we were entertained by Shakespeare’s playful commentary on the nonsense we weave around love, relationships and marriage.
A marvelous little band of Hurtwood students gave us 50 minutes of fun and frolics in an ingeniously compressed version that included, quite shamelessly, all the best bits. The odd moment of confusion was more than recompensed by all the exposure of vanity and self-deception in a pacey little production that fairly roared along. In the capable hands of James and Stephen (who added weight as Friar and Dogberry) the little company motored effortlessly through its paces, clearly enjoying every moment.
All the performances were confident, easy and full of fun, with Tom and Izzy in the leads, and fantastic support from Ellis, Zoe, Victoria, Kat S, Mia, Bella, Anson, Milla T and Kiki et al. Are we foolish in love, lacking in self-knowledge? You bet we are. Can we change? Unlikely. Did it make great entertainment? Most certainly. And what about that venue?
So many little quirks and spaces, balconies for overhearing, walls and tiers for unexpected entrances and trysts, grand staircases for processions and flounces; what will be the next feature under the spreading chestnut trees?
We can’t wait, frankly. Bring it on – and let’s have more trumpet. Please.