I absolutely loved Much ado about nothing,the plot couldn't have been better. Sarah and Damien were excellent and played their characters really well, I really felt that they had a history. can't wait for it to come out on DVD. The actors were very well chosen and I loved the way it was adapted, for me it was, without a doubt, the best Shakespeare re-told drama I have ever seen.
Well done BBC, one again, another great drama success!
But Beatrice and Benedict - oh yes, brilliantly done! Sarah Parish and Damian Lewis (is he meant to look like Kenneth Branagh or is it chance?) are marvellous and the whole script concerning them is excellent and very funny.
This version did have some shortcomings, such as a much too small role for Peter (Don Pedro), and, of course, the lack of the original Bard text, and I also felt it was more interested in being entertaining than in being any kind of complex literary comedy. But while the Macbeth episode of this series seemed contrived and simplified to the point of massive dilution, the Much Ado episode worked far better,despite being a very straight (and, again, simplified) version of the original. It seemed to me like it had been immensely easy to write; nothing much more than rephrasing parts of the Shakespeare dialog into modern language and changing the setting. Still, it was done with remarkable flair. Certainly Shakespeare Lite at the end of the day, but not bad at all.
7 out of 10.
Next Wednesday it's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
During this period, Shakespeare seems to have found one of his three balances among the structure of poetical phrases, the structure of poetic introspection and the long form shape of the story. Of the three, adapters must toss the language, so the measure of success is how well the small concepts weave into the larger. Supposedly, if this is done well enough some of the subtle magic of why the original is so hypnotic will be conveyed. In other words, we should get joy from the sheer difficulty of the conceptual gymnastics as well as the pleasure from a good experience from the play itself.
This wins in my book.
The key trick is that the domain has been shifted to folks in the business of TeeVee broadcasting. So there is a built in fold in the very lives of everyone involved. We naturally accept the two conspiratorial theaters that are woven, one to create a wedding and another to foil one.
The production is good, earnest, unconstrained.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
Overall, details may be changed but the spirit is there, and I think Shakespeare might have liked it.
Oh, and the music, as in other of the four (especially Macbeth!!) enhances the mood really well.
This was just great.
Oh and some reviewers noticed the similarities between This Benedick and Kenneth Brannagh- I agree-I think it might have been a tribute of some sort.