Much Ado About Nothing
- A television production of the play that never made it to the screen. It was directed by Donald McWhinnie in 1978 with the intention of being shown as part of the first series of the BBC Television Shakespeare. Michael York was cast as Benedick and Penelope Keith as Beatrice. For reasons never quite known, it was eventually cancelled and substituted by a new production of the play which was shown towards the end of the cycle on 30 November 1984.
- Great Britain
- Technical information
- Colour / Sound
- Donald McWhinnie
- Cedric Messina
- Art Direction
- Don Taylor
Penelope Keith Beatrice Michael York Benedick Nigel Davenport Don Pedro Ian Richardson Don John
- FRONT ROW [9 April 2008] included an item on why the play had not been broadcast and concluded it was ‘a victim of BBC internal politics’, possibly a dispute between the series’ producers Cedric Messina and Shaun Sutton (Sutton pulled it, believing it ‘a flawed production’). Brief extracts from I i, and IV i were broadcast. According to the programme a copy exists in the BBC’s archives.
- This televised adaptation, planned for the first BBC TV Shakespeare series, went through all the production motions (casting, rehearsal, recording, editing) but it was never released. Cf. Susan Willis, The BBC Shakespeare Plays: Making the Televised Canon (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), p. 15.
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