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Published on June 1st, 2011 | by Patrick Riley

Much Ado About Not Doctor Who

Amidst all the excitement and hype for the sure-to-be-brilliant interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing starring former Doctor Who duo David Tennant and Catherine Tate, one voice is bravely speaking out about why this production may not be entirely a good thing.

Ian Shuttleworth of the Financial Times published a review the other day, not of the West End play starring Tennant, but the Globe Theatre version with period costumes and the likes of Eve Best (The King’s Speech, Nurse Jackie) and Charles Edwards in the starring roles of Beatrice and Benedick. While Mr. Shuttleworth seemed to enjoy what he saw, it’s difficult to guess what the majority of his experience watching this Globe performance was actually like, as he spends a considerable portion of his review mourning the fact that this rendition will inevitably be overshadowed by Tennant/Tate’s, which opens within the week.

“Pity poor Charles Edwards and Eve Best. No matter how well they do as Beatrice and Benedick, their Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe will inevitably be eclipsed by the West End production of the same play opening a week later which will reunite much-loved Doctor Who pair David Tennant and Catherine Tate.”

You’re right, Mr. Shuttleworth. The “Much Ado” you saw, which was in The Globe, no less, will never be remembered. After all, how many people do you know who are clamoring to experience the show on DVD?

Probably not as many as those petitioning to take home a copy of “Much A-Who.” And we mean petitioning literally. There’s a campaign going on at iPetitions right now requesting Tennant and Tate’s performance to get the Hamlet treatment and be produced for DVD. Are you one of the mob of Tennant fans who wants yet another round disc full of mad hair and dashing good looks that you can watch frame-by-frame? Do you want to see what the buzz is all about but can’t make it to the live performance? Go on, sign this form!

Get your tickets to the Much Ado About Nothing Doctor Who edition at the Delfont Mackintosh website.


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About the Author


Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.

2 Responses to Much Ado About Not Doctor Who

  1. avatar BJAMES says:

    Critics should never fret about interpretations of Shakespeare. They are either good or great (seldom actually bad), and having Actors/Actresses of celebrity play roles in them (provided they don’t suck), can only have a positive effect on the Bards great work getting exposure to new audiences, maybe many people that wouldn’t be experiencing Shakespeare, or even knowing where or how to begin to experience him, otherwise. That this is David and Catherine, who I am sure will be great, be such a potential gateway is a good thing. It may well lead to a viewer seeking out the “lesser” known but no less great staging of the same or other Shakespearean works………

  2. avatar nel says:

    Not sure why he’s fretting, since the persistent comparison of the 2 in the press seems to be giving the Globe version more press than it might have had without the Tennant/Tate staging. And if the interpretation at the Wyndham’s is good, as it seems to be, then why shouldn’t it also get attention? It’s far less cynical than Jude Law’s Hamlet being the one that ended up on Broadway despite the RSC’s staging with Tennant getting better reviews.

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