Mark Rylance directs James Earl Jones and Vanessa Redgrave in Shakespeare’s timeless comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
The acting legends recently went head-to-head in a successful Broadway and West End run of Driving Miss Daisy. Here, the 76 and 82 year-old performers reunite to play reluctant lovers Beatrice and Benedick - roles that were, of course, written for much younger people. Their casting gives the play a completely new dimension.
Shakespeare's immortal comedy of romance, manners and misunderstandings is here transposed to 1940s England from its traditional setting in 16th century Sicily. It's the tale of two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero.
Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a 'merry war'. They talk a mile a minute and proclaim their scorn for love, marriage, and each other. In contrast, Claudio and Hero are a sweet young couple rendered practically speechless by their love for one another. While Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar.
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