Freelance writer, mum and lover of all things Melbourne :)
Enjoy a fresh take on Shakespeare's most famous romantic comedy classic, as GJ Productions proudly presents a special season of Much Ado About Nothing, under the stars in the impressive Fairfield Amphitheatre this January.
Following the success of GJ Production's Romeo and Juliet in 2019, this family-friendly event is sure to delight all. The production and setting presents an easygoing vibe, while staying true to Shakespeare's script, the addition of modern day references, improvised wit and use of the surrounds makes it particularly accessible to audiences.
Jennifer Piper as the jaded sister to the prince Don John, intimidating lover boy Count Cladio played by Daniel Agar, Image provided, photography by Matthew Howat
The true value of what it is to be entertained by live theatre can be experienced with this production, as the amphitheatre provides an intimate setting and each of the cast members interacts engagingly and hilariously with the audience, audience members become immersed in the experience.
The play's comedic backbone comes to life throughout the play, particularly through the antics of James Martin as Benedick. The romance between Hero and Count Claudio (played by Marissa Economo and Daniel Agar) and Benedick and Beatrice (James Martin and Grace Maddern) is also by superbly conveyed. As with any of Shakespeare's comedies, however, there is a dark side to Much Ado About Nothing, as the mischief making Borachio, confidently played by Joanna Bakker, and villain Don John, made particularly un-nerving by the performance of Jennifer Piper, begin a deception, exploring the themes of infidelity, jealousy and destruction through irrationality that is magnificently played out by the rest of the cast.
GjProductions co-founder Grace Maddern as the vivacious Beatrice, sweet Hero played by Marissa Economo and Hero's lady in waiting Margaret played by Jessica Gadsden,Image provided, photography by Matthew Howat
Watching this play at Fairfield Amphitheatre on a barmy summers evening with wine and picnic on our deck chairs was a fabulous experience and I'd recommend it to both regular Shakespeare devotees and those who would like to see what it's like for the first time. The production is professional and the cast provide for an engaging and entertaining performance, it's a great night out for either a date night for two or a family evening.
Guests are invited to bring along a blanket, their own gourmet picnic, comfy cushions and bug repellant. There are drinks and snacks available for purchase at a kiosk and deck chairs available for hire.
Joanna Bakker as the trouble maker Borachio, Image provided, photography by Matthew Howat
Performances will be held Friday 24 January 2020 - Saturday 1 February 2020 at 8:00 PM.The box office and theatre opens at 7:30PM with live pre-show entertainment. The performance is approximately 2 hours with a 15 minute interval. Live pre-show entertainment is provided by half of punk/rock band On 'til morning, Dylan and Michael with some great original songs and covers of some 90's classic punk songs.
The event is wheelchair accessible with a ramped path to the Amphitheatre and two wheelchair spaces at the amphitheatre, with a space next to them for a carers seat, you can show your Carers Card at the box office for one free deck chair hire.
As this is an outdoor venue there is a wet weather plan, GJ Productions will alert all attendees should a performance be cancelled due to wet weather by 4pm on the day and tickets can be exchanged for another performance or refunded. However, the weather is looking great for the rest of this week, so it's an ideal spot for a perfect summer evening of entertainment.