Shenandoah Shakespeare Blackfriars Stage Company


Thursday, 10 November: Much Ado about Nothing

In Much Ado, Shakespeare gives us the glittering wit of Beatrice and Benedick and the heroic bumbling of Dogberry and Verges. He gives us the joy of love won and the ache of love lost. One of Shakespeare's most delightful comedies, Much Ado delivers the witty tongue-lashings of the upper crust as well as the broad farce of the lower class. As the villain Don John devises a scheme to shatter the wedding of young lovers Claudio and Hero, the friends of Beatrice and Benedick conspire to trick them into admitting their much-denied love for one another. In this magnificent comedy, Shakespeare makes you laugh, but also breaks your heart—and magically puts it all back together again. Shakespeare shapes the ominous and light-hearted deceptions with cleverness and charm while he keeps the laughter coming.

Friday, 11 November: Richard III

Thought to be Shakespeare’s first big box-office smash, Richard III chronicles the cataclysmic end of England’s greatest power struggle, The Wars of the Roses, which pitted Richard’s House of York against the House of Lancaster. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, as the play’s fabulous ringmaster, takes the audience into his confidence as he plots to kill everyone before him in line for the throne. Tony Soprano could only envy the panache of Richard’s villainous ascent to power. Being seduced by Richard’s shameless treachery is one of theater-going’s most delicious guilty pleasures.

Saturday, 12 November: Return to the Forbidden Planet by Bob Carlton

Imagine that American Bandstand, Star Trek, and William Shakespeare were involved in a disastrous transporter malfunction, and the result at the other end was a combination of all three. That’s just part of the fun of Shakespeare’s long lost rock and roll masterpiece, Return to the Forbidden Planet. In this fantabulous starship musical (based on The Tempest), mad scientist Doctor Prospero is banished into hyperspace with his infant daughter Miranda and lands on the uncharted Planet D’Illyria. Rock and roll hits of the fifties and sixties, a sci-fi fantasy, and dialogue from the greatest plays ever written all collide to keep you laughing and jamming through an evening you will never forget. Winner of the 1990 Olivier Award for Best Musical.

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