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Friday, 28 September 2012

Much Ado About Nothing - Royal Shakespeare Company - Social Media Call

The Royal Shakespeare Companies production of Much Ado About Nothing has just transferred to London's West End and begun its limited run at the Noel Coward Theatre. The show which has adopted a modern day Indian setting begun life at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon. For the show the RSC ran it's second Social Media Call, and lucky I was able to attend (as I was previously for the Social Media Call for A Soldier In Every Son, click here to read my blog on it).

I was lucky enough to see the production twice in Stratford and on both occasions I highly enjoyed it. The Indian setting works superbly for the peice, it adds fantastic colour, music and atmosphere to the production. A fantastic company led by Meera Syal (as Beatrice) and Paul Bhattacharjee (as Benedick) act superbly throughout. You get the heart and humour of a great play throughout this version directed by Iqbal Khan and a superb set designed by Tom Piper.

For those unaware of a social media call (not many theatres do them, but I highly think it's something they should consider with sites like twitter and facebook being so popular and a great marketing drive for any show), we were invited in the audiotorium of the theatre and we were to watch a scene from the play (Act Two, Scene 3) and then have a question and answer session with the members of the company from the scene. For this we were allowed to video and take pictures, and I did both. Below is my video of the scene.

The scene feautred Sagar Arya (Claudio), Raj Bajaj (Balthasar), Paul Bhattacharjee (Benedick), Shiv Grewal (Don Pedro), Madhav Sharma (Leonato) and Anjana Vasan (Maid). It's a supeb scene that starts setting up Benedick by making him believe that Beatrice is in love with him. A fascinating Q+A followed the scene, for which the director, Iqbal Khan joined the company on stage. The Q+A mainly focused on the Indian setting and was great to hear some of the ideas by the actors and director.

I also got the joy of meeting another actor from the company, Muzz Khan, with whom I discussed how easy it was or a show to transfer from a theatre like the Courtyard to the Noel Coward, mainly due to the staging, the Courtyard you have the stage and the audience around 3 sides of it to playing to the Noel Coward where the audience is only in front of the stage.

On the whole I'd highly recommend that you all go and see a fantastic production, as the press reviews come out for the show in London and the couple I've seen being positive, I see no reason that you don't see it. Theres also £5 tickets for 16-25 year olds (ask at the box office).  (see links below for how to book tickets). Also if you get the chance to attend a social media call for any production (but especially an RSC one) I'd recommend highly that you attend.

Below I've included pictures from the social media call:

Setting Up
Introducing the actors
Performing the scene; L-R, Paul Bhattacharjee, Anjana Vasan, Madhav Sharma and Sagar Arya
Q+A; L-R, Raj Bajaj (Balthasar), Madhav Sharma (Leonato), Paul Bhattacharjee (Benedick), Sagar Arya (Claudio), Shiv Grewel (Don Pedro) and Iqbal Khan (Director)
Sagar Arya (Claudio), Shiv Grewel and Iqbal Khan (Director)
Raj Bajaj (Balthasar), Madhav Sharma (Leonato), Paul Bhattacharjee (Benedick)
Madhav Sharma (Leonato) and Paul Bhattacharjee (Benedick)
Paul Bhattacharjee (Benedick)
Madhav Sharma (Leonato), Paul Bhattacharjee (Benedick), Sagar Arya (Claudio), Shiv Grewel (Don Pedro)
View of the set.

Find out more about the Production - RSC Official Website
To Book Tickets for the Production at the Noel Coward Theatre - Delfont Mackintosh Tickets Site

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