Much Ado About Nothing: A Critical Reader Deborah Cartmell (De Montfort University, UK)
This volume offers an accessible and thought-provoking guide to this major Shakespearean comedy, surveying its key themes and evolving critical preoccupations. It also provides a detailed and up-to-date history of the play's rich stage and screen performance, looking closely at major contemporary performances, including Josie Rourke's film starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate, Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones at the Old Vic, and the RSC's recent rebranding of it as a sequel. Moving through to four new critical essays, the guide opens up fresh perspectives, including contemporary directors' deployment of older actors within the lead roles, the play's relationship to Love's Labour's Lost, its presence on Youtube and the ways in which tales and ruses in the play belong to a wider concern with varieties of crime. The volume finishes with a guide to critical, web-based and production-related resources and an annotated bibliography provide a basis for further research.