From the Royal Shakespeare Company - a modern, definitive edition of Shakespeare's much-loved comedy of the battle between the sexes. With an expert introduction by Sir Jonathan Bate, this unique edition presents a historical overview of Much Ado About Nothing in performance, takes a detailed look at specific productions, and recommends film versions. Included in this edition are three interviews with two leading directors and an actor - Marianne Elliott, Nicholas Hytner and Harriet Walter - providing an illuminating insight into the extraordinary variety of interpretations that are possible. This edition also includes an essay on Shakespeare's career and Elizabethan theatre, and enables the reader to understand the play as it was originally intended - as living theatre to be enjoyed and performed.
Ideal for students, theatre-goers, actors and general readers, the RSC Shakespeare editions offer a fresh, accessible and contemporary approach to reading and rediscovering Shakespeare's works for the twenty-first century.
SIR JONATHAN BATE is Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, University of Warwick, UK, and the editor of The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works. He has held visiting posts at Harvard, Yale and UCLA and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine's College, Cambridge, and a Governor and Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. A prominent critic, award-winning biographer and broadcaster, he is the author of several books on Shakespeare, including The Genius of Shakespeare (Picador), which was praised by Sir Peter Hall, founder of the RSC, as "the best modern book on Shakespeare." In June 2006 he was awarded a CBE by HM The Queen 'for services to Higher Education'. ERIC RASMUSSEN is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, USA, and the Textual Editor of The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works. He is co-editor of the Norton Anthology of English Renaissance Drama and has edited volumes in both the Arden Shakespeare and Oxford World's Classics series. He is the General Textual Editor of the Internet Shakespeare Editions project - one of the most visited Shakespeare websites in the world. For over nine years he has written the annual review of editions and textual studies for the Shakespeare Survey.
Introduction.- About the Text.- Key Facts.- Much Ado About Nothing.- Textual Notes.- Scene-by-scene Analysis.- Much Ado in Performance: The RSC and Beyond.- Four Centuries of Much Ado: An Overview.- At the RSC.- The Director's Cut: Interviews with Marianne Elliott and Nicholas Hytner.- Harriet Walter on Playing Beatrice.- Shakespeare's Career in the Theatre.- Shakespeare's Works: A Chronology.- Further Reading and Viewing.- References.- Acknowledgements and Picture Credits