Much Ado About Nothing

by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing

Yes, Shakespeare is back in the Open Air at Reading Abbey Ruins

11-21 July 2018

Enjoy an open-air production.of this great Shakespearean comedy - although with a touch of darkness.

Much Ado About Nothing follows the return of soldiers from war. Packed with intrigue, double-crossing and plenty of laughter, Much Ado About Nothing is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare. Following the turbulent romances between Hero and Claudio and Beatrice and Benedict, this exploration of what loyalty, chivalry, and true love really mean empowers us to challenge our perceptions of relationships.

Our production moves the story from Italy to an English house at the conclusion of World War Two. It will be using the story of the lovers to explore the nature of the relationship between men and women as well as exploring themes of jealousy and class.

Leonato welcomes his friends back from war. His daughter, Hero, is in love with Claudio. His niece, Beatrice, verbally spars with Benedict. Can their friends conspire to bring them together? Will ill-intentioned Don John succeed in driving Claudio and Hero apart? Can Leonatos's sister, Antonia, come up with a plan to save the day? Can the watchmen overcome their incompetence to bring out the truth?

See Planning Your Visit for full details of the venue.


"Trevor Dale’s skilful direction of this crowd-pleasing comedy and the unique setting – the beautiful abbey ruins – make this an evening to remember"
The Whitley Pump
"In the glorious surroundings of the Chapter House of the recently restored Reading Abbey on a balmy evening in July, there was a risk that the setting could steal the show — but it doesn’t, since the production is so strong."
The Henley Standard
"Progress Theatre’s Much Ado About Nothing is an engaging and heart-warming take on a Shakespearean classic from a quality cast."
Explore Reading
“... it was a delight to see the characters leap off the pages of a script before me.”
- GetReading


Benedict - Dan Clarke
Beatrice -  Kate Shaw
Hero - Taylor Rupp
Claudio - Matt Urwin
Peter - Matt Tully
Leonato - Paul Gallantry
Antonia - Emma Kellow
John - Ian Belcher
Conrade - Louise Banks
Borachio - Alex Hobbs
Dogberry - Mikhail Franklin
Verges - Juliet England
Seacole- Laura Barns
Oatcake - Heather Eley
Margaret - Rebecca Douglas
Ursula - Debora Rochfort
Rebecca - Francesca Alfano
Sexton - Simon White
Friar Francis - Adj Messelles
Messenger - Daniel Gladwel

Directed by Trevor Dale

Much Ado About Nothing

In partnership with 
Tony Roe Solicitors