Much Ado about everything as OVO’s ‘50s diner take on the Shakespeare classic is rip-roaring success this summer


At the heart of OVO lies ‘Innovative Imaginative Inspiring Theatre’, a tagline that has been proven once again this summer with the company’s very special production of Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Directors, Adam Nichols and Janet Podd, along with the rest of the hugely talented OVO team, created a fun-filled spectacular, garnering numerous first-class reviews and selling-out two weeks of performances at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium and a week at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall.


Catapulting the play firmly into the 20th century, the story was set in Messina, a small town in America’s Midwest, at Leonata’s Bar and Grill, as a new decade dawned and the fabulous fifties twisted and jived into the swinging sixties, focusing on girl band sensation, The Sonettes. The return of the world-weary Benedick and Claudio from war in the far east saw the pair reacquainted with Beatrice and Hero and memories of conflict turned a life of partying, as the story of the quintet of lovers unfolded against a backdrop of live music. The soundtrack featured over 20 of the greatest rock and roll and pop tunes ever written, with it being the company’s second production in the breathtaking surroundings of the open-air Minack theatre, where it won the Minack award for its debut, As You Like It, in 2016, and its seventeenth Shakespeare production overall.


Adam said: “We had a fantastic summer with OVO’s production of Much Ado About Nothing at both the Roman Theatre of St Albans and the Minack Theatre in Cornwall. A total of 7,541 people saw the show across its 17 performances which is, by some distance, a record for OVO. We were delighted with the excellent reviews and lovely audience feedback we received.”

Read some of the lovely reviews here: