janne_d: (tennantstill)
[personal profile] janne_d
So there is a download of David Tennant and Cathering Tate in Much Ado About Nothing available (not yet DVD sadly, though there was a release date that seems to have now vanished) at Digital Theatre. It took running 4 different Microsoft installations to get it to work, but it was totally worth it (and if you have Adobe AIR already it won't be an issue).

Anyway, I watched the whole thing yesterday afternoon, and it was So. Much. Fun. I love Beatrice and Benedick anyway, but with DT and CT playing them they are the most adorable characters ever - the way they portrayed the scenes after they fall in love were just hysterical because there was this... joyous incredulity that this was actually happening to them, and they're laughing at themselves for being romantic even while they mean it, and it made me grin like a fool with delight. And when they were serious it was beautiful.

I am also completely in awe of how natural DT sounds doing Shakespeare - it's gorgeous. And his Benedick is charming and delightful (and Scottish!) and so hilarious I have a deep desire to see him do slapstick comedy for ever more. The scene where the Prince, Leonato and Claudio are manipulating him while he eavesdrops made me laugh so hard I had to pause the playback to recover, and his soliloquy afterwards melted me into a gooey puddle.

Catherine Tate is a fabulously spiky Beatrice too - the scene where she rejects the Prince was funny and awkward all at once, and her reactions in Beatrice's eavesdropping were just as funny as DT. And her grief and anger at the interrupted wedding are amazing - the "Kill Claudio" line is heartstopping.

Not that the play is just about them - the rest of the cast were great too (and the Watch were genuinely funny instead of annoying which is an achievement in itself). They did the set up of Benedick in a way I hadn't seen before - a lot less smooth and planned and a lot more scrambling to say the right thing with frantic gestures between the conspirators that they all played beautifully. A lot of the way things were played seemed quite fresh to me, actually, though I've only seen a couple of other versions. It was all warm and mischievous and I loved it.

The one thing I don't like (and it is something that can't be fixed as it is part of the play) is that I always want Hero to tell Claudio where to go at the end and stay single! This production at least managed to supply reasons that make it understandable that he acts like such a dick, but I still ended up going "why do you still want to marry him?" at Hero. Ah well. It's the Beatrice and Benedick plot that I watch it for, and that part of it was glorious.
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