British Universities Film & Video Council

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Much Ado About Nothing

Synopsis
A televised adaptation of the New York Shakespeare Festival Production by Joseph Papp, set at the beginning of the 20th century, featuring Teddy Roosevelt roughriders and bicycle-riding women suffragettes. This production originated at the open-air Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, transferred to Broadway, and was perceived as the first successful Shakespeare play to be staged without a major star in Broadway history. According to Radio Times, this "highly successful and highly inventive production sets Shakespeare’s comedy in the small-town America of 1910 - where the characters step into high-button shoes and spats amid such post-Shakespeare innovations as the motor-car, cigarette-puffing symbols of early Women’s Lib - and the Keystone Kops" (14-20 September 1974, p.25).
Series
Broadway Classic Collection
Language
English
Country
United States
Medium
Television; Video
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Year of release
2004
Transmission details
2 Feb 1973 at 20:45 (Channel: CBS)
Duration
160 mins

Credits

Director
A.J. Antoon
Producer
Joseph Papp
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Peter Link
Costume
Theoni V. Aldredge
Cast
Kathleen WiddoesBeatrice
Sam WaterstonBenedick
Glenn WalkenClaudio
Douglass WatsonDon Pedro
Barnard HughesDogberry
Amy FreemanAntonio
April ShawnHero
Bette HenritzeUrsula
Charles BarnettMessenger
Frederick CoffinBorachio
Jack GianioConrade
Jean HeppleMargaret
Jerry MayerDon John
Mark HammerLeonato
Marshall EfronBalthasar
Will MacKenzieVerges

Additional Details

Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Historical period
Edwardian
Plays
Much Ado About Nothing
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); New York Shakespeare Festival; Shakespeare Marathon (1987-1997)

Notes

History
First shown on US television CBS 2 February 1973. IBM, the sponsor, had taken out an advertisement in The New York Times pointing out how much cheaper it was to watch the play on television than to see it on Broadway where it was showing at the Winter Garden. The stage show closed down shortly after the television screening. The production was broadcast in the UK on the BBC 14 September 1974 (20:45-23.25). The production was marketed on video in 2004 as part of the Broadway Classic Collection.

Production Company

Name

CBS Television

Sponsor

Name

IBM

Distributor (Sale)

Name

National Theatre Bookshop

Email
bookshop@nationaltheatre.org.uk
Web
http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/28853/dvds/dvds.html External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7452 3456
Fax
020 7452 33457
Address
South Bank
London
SE1 9PX
Notes
The NT bookshop provides an online service supplying DVDs of stage performances and film or television adaptations of plays.

Online Retailer

Name

Broadway Theatre Archive

Web
http://www.BroadwayArchive.co.uk/ External site opens in new window

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