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Much Ado About Nothing dir. by Iqbal Khan (review)

Much Ado About Nothing dir. by Iqbal Khan (review) 570 Special Issue Performance Reviews MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Directed by Iqbal Khan, featuring Meera Syal as Beatice. Royal Shakespeare Company. World Shakespeare Fes- tival. Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. 1 August 2012. In August 2012, Meera Syal made history by being the first woman of South Asian heritage to play Beatrice on stage for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). The production, directed by Iqbal Khan of Much Ado About Nothing, was set in contemporary Delhi—the Indian soldiers returned from a United Nations peacekeeping mission; the Watch were servants in Leonato’s grand haveli (private mansion), and Beatrice was a contemporary Indian woman, treading a line between tradition and modernization within the patriarchal society of both Shakespeare’s Messina and modern Delhi. The director’s and actor’s interpretation of the character engaged with debates embedded in Shakespeare’s text, and drew twenty-first-century resonances regarding con- temporary gender politics. The genesis of the production began with an invitation for Syal to join the company by Michael Boyd (RSC artistic director 2003–2012). She had never before performed Shakespeare professionally, but had played Caliban in a school production of The Tempest. “I didn’t understand it,” she said, “and played the role for broad comedy, as one would at http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Theatre Journal University of Hawai'I Press

Much Ado About Nothing dir. by Iqbal Khan (review)

Asian Theatre Journal , Volume 32 (2) – Sep 14, 2015

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-2109

Abstract

570 Special Issue Performance Reviews MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Directed by Iqbal Khan, featuring Meera Syal as Beatice. Royal Shakespeare Company. World Shakespeare Fes- tival. Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. 1 August 2012. In August 2012, Meera Syal made history by being the first woman of South Asian heritage to play Beatrice on stage for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). The production, directed by Iqbal Khan of Much Ado About Nothing, was set in contemporary Delhi—the Indian soldiers returned from a United Nations peacekeeping mission; the Watch were servants in Leonato’s grand haveli (private mansion), and Beatrice was a contemporary Indian woman, treading a line between tradition and modernization within the patriarchal society of both Shakespeare’s Messina and modern Delhi. The director’s and actor’s interpretation of the character engaged with debates embedded in Shakespeare’s text, and drew twenty-first-century resonances regarding con- temporary gender politics. The genesis of the production began with an invitation for Syal to join the company by Michael Boyd (RSC artistic director 2003–2012). She had never before performed Shakespeare professionally, but had played Caliban in a school production of The Tempest. “I didn’t understand it,” she said, “and played the role for broad comedy, as one would at

Journal

Asian Theatre JournalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Sep 14, 2015

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