VIDEO: Hilariously tangled plot, pair of stubborn lovers: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

Dancing begins at the big party at Leonato’s house while the villain, Don John, right in black mask, plots to ruin Claudio’s wedding hopes. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Don John, (Darryl Tunnicliffe, right), talks over a vicious plan with one of his minions. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Shy Claudio, (Jacob Dennison, left), is delighted when Don Pedro (Alex Gallacher) promises to woo the lovely Hero for him. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Claudio (Jacob Dennison) tells his best friend Benedick (Matt Williams) that he’s just met an angel: Leonato’s daughter, Hero. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Benedick (Matt Williams) surprises everyone by kissing Beatrice (Breann Gallacher) passionately at their wedding. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Claudio (Jacob Dennison) leads a prayer service at the mausoleum for his dead love, Hero. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Beatrice (Breann Gallacher) and Benedick (Matt Williams) realize that’s there’s an attraction there after all. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Benedick (Matt Williams) tries writing a poem to his love but finds it’s simply not his style. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Benedick (Matt Williams) berates Claudio (Jacob Dennison) for thinking ill of the innocent Hero. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Hero’s father, Leonato (Brian Dennison), says he is prepared to kill Claudio for blackening his daughter’s name. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Caught! The constable finds Lord John’s two minions, who have been spreading false tales about Hero in the Shawnigan Players production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. For more about the show see page 16. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Benedick (Matt Williams) promises Beatrice (Breann Gallacher) to find out who spread the lies about Hero. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Hero apparently dies after Claudio accuses her of welcoming another man to her bedroom. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
A vengeful Claudio accuses his prospective bride Hero of having lovers visit her at night. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
The plot to cause Hero and Claudio so much grief is food for laughter for Don John’s cohorts. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
The ‘police force’ is more closely related to the Keystone Cops or Car 54, Where Are You? than any law enforcement group in reality. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Beatrice (Breann Gallacher) discovers that she is in love with Benedick and he with her. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Beatrice hides as two of her friends describe how madly Benedick is in love with her, even though she obviously hasn’t a clue. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Benedick can’t believe it when he finds he’s in love after everything he’s said against the emotion. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Claudio, Don Pedro, and Leonato talk about Benedick and Beatrice while big Benedick ‘hides’ behind a spindly tree, causing great glee in the audience. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Leonato, Don Pedro, Hero, and Claudio plot the best way to bring Beatrice and Benedick together. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Hero agrees to marry Claudio. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Benedick yaps on about how he’ll never fall in love, annoying Claudio, who’s just seen Hero and fallen hard. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare’s beloved comedies, is playing at the Gem o’ the Isle in Cowichan Station.

However, a big crowd came out to Charles Hoey Park to enjoy the Shawnigan Players’s traditional warmup performance a couple of days before The 39 Days of July festival wound up for another year.

The excellent cast features Matt Williams as Benedick; Breann Gallacher as Beatrice; Jacob Dennison as Claudio; Kaatrina Dennison as Hero; Kate McIntyre as Dogberry; Brian Dennison as Leonato; Alex Gallacher as Don Pedro and Darryl Tunnicliffe as Don John.

The story winds through all sorts of complications and includes nefarious plotting by a true villain, assisted by a pair of bumblers who are caught by a stunningly stupid squad of Keystone Cops, delighting the younger folks in the audience and proving once again that Shakespeare writes his plays for everyone.

Beatrice and Benedick, who are scrappily attracted to each other in a big way, are finally maneouvered into admitting their love but not before some of the play’s funniest scenes are enacted. The show is dressed in a 1920s style and this only shows that the genius of Shakespeare can shine through in any era.

Order your tickets now at eventbrite, carefully following the instructions there.

Much Ado About Nothing starts Aug. 7 following the Festival’s opening presentation, Measure for Measure, on Aug. 6. Check shawniganplayers.com for full schedule and details.

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