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Much Ado About Nothing (1984)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy | Romance  -  22 December 1984 (UK)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 158 users  
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Benedick and Beatrice fight their merry war of words. But when Beatrice's friend, Hero, is humiliatingly jilted by Benedick's best friend, Claudio, Benedick has to choose which side he's on... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Montague ...
Tim Faulkner ...
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Katharine Levy ...
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Robert Reynolds ...
Gordon Whiting ...
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Robert Gwilym ...
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Pamela Moiseiwitsch ...
Margaret
Ishia Bennison ...
Ursula
Oz Clarke ...
Ben Losh ...
Boy
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Storyline

Benedick and Beatrice fight their merry war of words. But when Beatrice's friend, Hero, is humiliatingly jilted by Benedick's best friend, Claudio, Benedick has to choose which side he's on. But unknown to all, Claudio's been tricked by the bastard Don John, and (unfortunately), it's up to Dogberry and Verges to solve the case. Written by Kathy Li

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Comedy | Romance

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22 December 1984 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Complete Dramatic Works of William Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing  »

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A splendid villain
11 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As most of the other comments point out this is an excellent and faithful performance, to the text and to the period. It is theatrical rather than cinematic, as with virtually all of this BBC complete Shakespeare, rendering comparison with the Branagh futile - it is comparing chalk and cheese.

Here, the comedy is brilliantly rendered, with several laugh-out-loud moments and enjoyably over the top acting. It is particularly fun to see Robert Lindsay at the masque - his movements of body and head are so characteristic of him that he is extremely easy to recognise even in his mask.

However, none of the comments so far have mentioned what for me is the stand-out performance of the play, Vernon Dobtcheff's Don John. This is an excellent, understated expression of pure villainy, snake-like, ruthless and sly, counterpointing the exuberant comedy elsewhere perfectly.


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