stf Theatre | Much Ado About Nothing
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Much Ado About Nothing


Much Ado About Nothing

Directed by Elizabeth Freestone
Designer Jean Chan

Celebrating stf’s 20th Bristol Performing Season

 ‘I feel privileged to have had the chance to make Henry V with stf, and am honoured to be asked back to create a new production for 2019, the company’s 20th anniversary year. Much Ado About Nothing seems the natural choice. It’s an interesting follow-on from Henry V in some ways, telling the story of soldiers coming home from conflict and finding how to adjust to civilian life. It also feels very fitting for today, exploring deception and self-deception, looking at the roles we play in order to fit in. And ultimately, with its playful riffs and vibrant characters, it is a joyful celebration of love and language, the perfect way to mark stf‘s magnificent milestone.’ Elizabeth Freestone Director.

Image Design: by FutureKings. Made with Unsplash.

TOBACCO FACTORY THEATRES, Bristol: Wed 16 October – Sat 9 November 2019
WILTON’S MUSIC HALL, LONDON: Tue 12 November – Sat 23 November 2019

I’m pinching myself every time I think about the cast we’ve assembled for Much Ado About Nothing in stf’s anniversary year. This brilliant ensemble is going to bring Shakespeare’s much-loved characters to life in vivid and unforgettable ways, revealing new insights and shedding new light. The play’s dynamic partnerships and intriguing social circles are a treat for actors to delve into. I know this diverse company will relish every second of getting to know their characters, warts and all! I can’t wait to start rehearsals.’ Elizabeth Freestone

Alice Barclay – Ursula
Dorothea Myer-BennettBeatrice
Christopher Bianchi
Hannah Bristow – Hero/Verges
Georgia Frost – Don Jon/ Sexton
Bethan Mary-James – Margaret
Geoffrey LumbBenedick
Imran MomenClaudio/Oatcake
Louise Mai NewberryDogberry
Zachary PowellDon Pedro/ Seacole
Alex WilsonBorachio/ Friar


Elizabeth Freestone Director
Jean Chan Designer
Nic Farman Lighting Designer
Chris Warner
Composer and Sound Designer
Maria Clarke Movement Director
Mathilde Hirth Assistant Director (Bristol University)
Nic Prior
Production Manager
Jane Curnow Costume Supervisor
Cassie Harrison CSM on the book
Tasha Outen ASM
Matthew Miles ASM
Alix Abram Wardrobe




★★★★ The TimesFreestone and her cast take this ever-strange mix of comedy and pain, emotional jousting and emotional torture, somewhere touching as well as teasing.’ Dominic Maxwell

★★★★ The Daily Mail ‘Elizabeth Freestone’s vigorous production ensures the language feels like office banter… robust and enjoyable.’ Patrick Marmion

★★★★ The Stage ‘A complexly rendered and charismatic performance’ Ben Kulvichit

★★★★What’sOnStageIt’s a Much Ado that reminds of sunny summer evenings and young love and in this increasingly dark and cold part of the year, it’s a welcome balm.’ Daisy Bowie-Sel

★★★★ The Spy In The Stalls ‘Reaching new heights without pretension this production feels fresh, striving to relate to its audience.’ Phoebe Cole

★★★★ London Theatre Reviews ‘The brilliant cast from Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory (stf) delivered an incredible performance. I felt every emotion, flinched at every angry outburst and heartily laughed at every insult and joke bounced around the stage.’ Abigail Kathleen 

★★★★ My Theatre Mates ‘On a chilly, Autumnal night, when the football made parking all but impossible, there is no greater praise than people leaving with a jig in their step and a song in their heart. The city’s love affair with the company continues.’ Kristopher Hallett

★★★★ A Younger Theatre ‘In an essentially fun and heartfelt production, there is a seamless blend of the vibrant modern with the poetic old, with neither aspect ever really detracting from the other.’ Nick Ferris

★★★★★ Stage Talk Magazine ‘The mixed aged audience cheering at the end is testament to the freshness that persists.  With productions of this calibre, STF has got at least another 20 years in it’ Bryan Mason

★★★★ Epigram ‘It is a testament to the strength of the cast that all of them deserve notation’ Katie Chalk 

Bristol 24/7 ‘This Much Ado is a true delight and – like so many stf productions – will hopefully show people that Shakespeare really can be just as spellbinding to a modern audience as any high quality Hollywood blockbuster. Go and see it.’ Toby Morse

British Theatre Guide Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’s reputation for clear and compelling storytelling lives on … this dynamic yet thoughtful and nuanced interpretation treads the fine line between comedy and tragedy with consummate ease.’ Claire Hayes

A Writer’s Blog ‘Elizabeth Freestone’s direction is not only exciting but emphasises nuances in the plot.’ Crysse Morrison