This is a student production so be prepared for less than professional level acting; the upside of student productions is the price is much more affordable. What I liked the most about the production was the staging. The sets were very creative and worked well for the play. The props, soundscape, and blocking worked well for the most part. The costumes were pleasing although they didn't tend to support an understanding of the characters.
What didn't work for me was the actor's speech. Doing Shakespeare without an English accent can be challenging but doing Shakespeare without breathing and projecting is almost pointless. Generally the actors spoke too quickly and often swallowed their lines. The action suffered by us not being able to follow the motivations and intentions of each character through their words. Given the cast were all 4th year or final year students of the theatre school it was surprising to see that they are not being schooled for the stage. Perhaps they are pursuing careers in film and video only?
The Freddie Wood theatre is a very nice small theatre with great seating and acoustics. A word to the wise - parking at UBC is expensive and the theatre is not close to the bus lines so be prepared to pay a little more for parking or walk a little farther to and from public transportation.
William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is on at UBC's Freddie Wood Theatre until Nov 24th.
Tickets at: https://www.arts.ubc.ca/events/event/much-ado-about-nothing/
~ reviewed by Evelyn McKelvie
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