Much Ado About Nothing - Mardled!
Shakespeare with a Norfolk twist.
01603 663 676

17-21 August, 2009, 4pm-4.55pm. Henderson's Café, Edinburgh. At the Edinburgh Fringe! Free!

Well, Spin-Off Theatre is at it again: Mardling the Bard, or looking at Shakespeare through Norfolk eyes.

This Norwich based theatre company specializes in all things Norfolk and has been visiting Edinburgh regularly since 2002. It's fascinating and in depth work, and one of its kind.

According to Spin-Off, all that unusual vocabulary normally only met in the Folio, is alive and well and living... in Norfolk where the dialect still holds traces of its Elizabethan origins (in the wilds of Swaffham, they still know a hawk from a hanser.) Apparently, the traditional storytelling technique, which the company dubs 'mardling' is also a close fit for the way Shakespeare tells a tale. It all adds up to a great marriage of minds between Norfolk and the Bard. And let us not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments...

This time, it's a one man version of Much Ado About Nothing, all seen through the eyes of Ace Bloodhound: Dogberry.

Much Ado has been adapted by Eve Stebbing, Artistic Director of Spin-Off, she also plays all the roles. It's been directed - a little bit round the edges - by the great Peter Faulkner (West End, Blood Brothers and much more...) and mostly by next door's dog: a Staffie by the very Norfolk name of Nelson.

In this new version, set in Wymondham at the time of Kett's rebellion, the cheery old joyfest gets a reworking that contains some distinctly dark undertones. But our host Dogberry does not allow his audience to sorrow for long, romping us through the tales of Benedick and Beatrice, Hero and Claudio in sequential fashion. As you might have guessed, the old Officer of the Night watch has turned the play into a kind of Who-Done-It? - but his methods owe more to the Style Police than Sherlock Holmes.

As you would expect from Fringe regular, Eve Stebbing, this is an oddball extravaganza with flying mops and buckets and a touch of folk here and there. Lots of fun and a new take on the old text that's both entertaining and informed.

Free theatre and a chance to escape the frenzy of the Fringe and put your feet up for an hour in Henderson's Café. What could possibly be more civilized?

This show has been supported by the Geoffrey Watling Charity.

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Geoffrey Watling. The Geoffrey Watling Charity

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