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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets, 13 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
I bought this DVD for my wife as she wasn't able to go to the Globe for the live version. This is almost as good as being there.
Eve Best and Charles Edwards are outstanding as Beatrice and Benedick, and the supporting cast are all up to scratch.
The audience, however, leave something to be desired, laughing in what seem to us to be inappropriate places, and generally carrying on as if they're at a pantomime- the reaction to Beatrice's "eat his heart in the market place " speech as if it's comedy is a prime example. But that's the "magic" of live theatre, I suppose.
Is this the best DVD of Much Ado? Well, if I could only have one, I might keep the Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson film,
but in the best of all possible worlds I'll have both, plus the BBC Shakespeare version with Robert Lindsay and Cherie Lunghi,
please.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I warrant you, they spared no wit., 16 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
I have to say it was an absolute joy to watch this. I think Eve Best and Charles Edwards were brilliant as Benedick and Beatrice, well beyond my expectations. It is always great to see actors not just say Shakespeare's words, but breath life into the characters that have a reason for saying them. All of the managed to do that, making it a joy to watch. I even had some laugh out loud moments.

If I had to have any criticism, I would say that the actor that played Dogberry got a little bit repetitive towards the end. Everything else seemed to fall into place for this. Even though you're watching a filmed stage performance, the editing is never distracting, the sound is always clear and I never felt there was a part of the stage or a character that I wanted to see, but couldn't.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Ado About Something Wonderful, 1 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
Like all Shakerspeare's Globe productions I saw up to now, this one was a wonderful Elisabethan-style staging, replete with jokes, in-jokes and knowing nods to the viewers, boasting acting of the highest calibre. Eve Best's Beatrice is too good to miss, and I am truly sorry I have not managed to see her live at The Globe. However, this DVD is the next best thing, and I recommend it heartily to all Shakespeare-lovers.

Joseph Marcell makes an excellent Leonato, and Charles Edwards is a wonderful Benedick. The entire cast is well matched and works beautifully as an ensemble.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pantomime stuff, 20 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
A little searching through my reviews will tell you that I am almost evangelical on the subject of the Globe. They bring Shakespeare to life like no-one I've ever seen. Above all, they manage to extract every ounce of comedy from the text - and since Much Ado was written as a comedy (you'd never know this if it was a set text at school), the result is a riot.

The core of the play is the sparring between Beatrice (Eve Best) and Benedick (Charles Edwards). Both parts are acted superbly, and the tension between them positively crackles with energy. Eve Best in particular has a nice line in haughty exits.

This is a filmed version of a live performance, and the audience gets into the act. When Don John (suitably garbed in villainous black) gloats when it seems that his evil plot is coming to fruition, the audience actually hissed him as if they were watching a pantomime. The expression on the actor's face as he revelled in it was priceless. Similarly, Edwards' reaction to a lone laugh from a groundling.

The one slight disappointment was Dogberry. I've come to expect great things from Globe interpretations of comic parts; and though I loved Verges (a hulking giant from the Bernard Bresslaw school of dimwits), and the lantern (OK, lanthorn) gags were good, Dogberry's mannerisms seemed to me to cross the line into mere silliness for the sake of things.

But this is a minor point. On the whole the performance was a triumph. Feel-good Shakespeare. Now there's a concept my old teachers would never have understood....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Shakespeare, 26 Dec 2012
By 
J. E. McLean (Wellington, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
In every sense this is a superb production of the play. Great casting - the leads are totally convincing - and their understanding of the nuances of the text without it being overtly laden with meaning is a model for would-be actors. Wonderfully staged imaginative without gimmicry - of all the productions I have seen this takes the plum!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Ado About Something., 9 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
Saw this at Shakespeare's Globe and of all the productions that I have seen this is the standout. I shall be watching it often. Eve Best is certainly the finest Beatrice that I have seen. She says much with her face and body that a lot of her lines are unnecessary. Charles Edwards is the perfect foil as Benedict - brave, gallant and a little bit on a loser when it comes to a battle of words. The rest of the cast are fine. My only quibble is with Paul Hunter as Dogberry who overdoes the whistles and grimaces. Director Jeremy Herrin should have kept him under tighter control. Even if you are not a fan of Will this is a production that can make you one. Go buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic buy, 21 Aug 2013
This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
I bought this DVD because I was soon to play Beatrice in a production of the play. I had seen this production at the Globe and it still remains my favourite of Shakespeare's plays.

The recording of the production is brilliant. It will never be the same as actually being in the theatre, but it comes as close as a DVD recoding can. One thing I couldn't quite get used to was the volume of the actors' voices as they project to the whole audience, but that is just the nature of the theatre space. A wonderful purchase and one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys Shakespeare, who has visited the Globe or is planning a visit and especially for anyone studying the play.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Utterly Miraculous Performance, 28 Mar 2014
By 
O. G. M. Morgan (Hants, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
I was lucky enough to see this production on a surprisingly hot September day (it was a year in which I achieved the rare feat of getting sunburnt both in Shetland and at the theatre). This was hilarious theatre, brilliantly acted in every instance, excellently staged and accompanied by very good music. All of that is supported by this terrific DVD. Globe DVDs don't always do justice to the actual performances (the Henry V one definitely doesn't), but this DVD really matches an outstanding occasion on stage and repays endless re-watching.

You'd expect the Beatrice and Benedick to be the stars in this wonderful play and they are, Eve Best and Charles Edwards constantly doing justice to some of Shakespeare's wittiest lines, but they have some competition, from Ony Uhiara, as Hero, Lisa McGrillis, as a very funny Margaret, Matthew Pidgeon, playing a simultaneously sinister and comical Don John, and especially Joseph Marcell, as Leonato. "Much Ado About Nothing" is not unique, in Shakespeare's works, in combining comedy and something that hints at tragedy; Eve Best and, even more, Joseph Marcell produce powerful performances in the more serious scenes around the "marriage". Leonato's misplaced rage against his daughter, beautifully, in every sense, performed by Ony Uhiara, changes to paternal fury, when he realises how she has been wronged. Joseph Marcell is so blisteringly powerful here (and was, when I saw him), I'm rather surprised that he didn't burn the Globe down.

Every other actor/actress involved is excellent, too. Despite the fact that it was plainly tipping down during the performance (quite unlike the occasion when I attended), it is very well filmed and recorded, with immaculate diction.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 July 2014
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This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
Pefect
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5.0 out of 5 stars much Ado, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing (Eve Best/ Joe Caffrey/ Philip Cumbus) [Globe on Screen] [DVD] [2012] [NTSC] (DVD)
I really can't praise this play enough, it is a super production well produced .Eve Best (Beatrice)and Charles Edwards (Benedick) are fabulous in the lead roles, and really capture the spark and rivalry between Beatrice and Benedick.
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