Albion College Theatre’s Much Ado About Nothing is a hoot. The Herrick Theatre was full of Albion College students, faculty, staff and members of the Albion community waiting to see the first performance on April 12.
Much Ado About Nothing tells a story of two people who are in love but are too stubborn to admit it to each other and even themselves.
The funniest conversations were between Benedick and Beatrice. They make their pride known at the beginning of the play and their constant bickering and strong personalities were always clashing. Beatrice is highly praised for being a strong-willed and opinionated woman. Some would even argue she is one of Shakespeare’s strongest characters. Beatrice was played by Savannah Manning, a junior from Muskegon, Michigan, who encompassed all of the characteristics that made Beatrice such a popular character. The way she walked across the stage and talked to other characters made her dominance known.
In between each scene, Kasey Porter, a junior from Haslett, Michigan, came out playing the guitar. His character broke the “awkward silence” just enough to keep the comical elements going in between the different scenes.
The romantic comedy is not like most Shakespeare plays that end with death. Instead, the play has a light-hearted ended that has you wanting to watch the play time and time again.
The Albion College Theatre department performs this play with grace and keeps the crowd laughing from start to finish. The set was painted with different shades of brown that created a building-like texture that could be seen from the back of the theatre.
The costumes were tailored to fit each character’s role throughout the play and had a 16th-century flare. The detailed craftsmanship was noticeable from up close and far away.
The cast consisted of 18 performers who embodied their characters flawlessly. The openness of the set allowed the audience to see actors secretly listening to conversations behind walls or between doors. This created dramatic irony that kept the crowd laughing.
The play followed a very similar storyline to the original play. I would have liked to see the director use more creativity to make the play unique to Albion. I have seen this play performed in different time eras and even with different cultural twists.
Whether or not you are a fan of Shakespeare, I would highly recommend this play. The play follows a very similar storyline to the original script, which makes it easy to understand. When you combine the actors’ strong performance with the plays comedic elements, you are in for a treat.
The Albion College Theatre department has three more performances: Friday, April 20 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Photo by Morgan Garmo