The Dell, open air theatre
Sunday 22 July, 4pm
Performances are free, no ticket required.
Latest: Watch an interview with RNTA Director of Much Ado About Nothing, Philippa Sargent.
The Royal Navy Theatre Association (RNTA) production of Much Ado About Nothing is set during the return journey of a Royal Marine Unit from Afghanistan in the very recent past. Having visited Leonato and his family on their way out east, they are returning flushed with success, having lost none of their number during the deployment.
But some of them have changed forever. Lieutenant Colonel Don John has continued to foster his resentment against his older brother, Colonel Don Pedro, and is ripe for damaging mischief. Captain Claudio has matured during his first experience of combat and is ready to fall in love. Major Benedick, despite his protestations and experience, both of life and of the opposite sex, is equally ready to fall for the tricks that his friends will play on him.
Not only the Marines have changed, but the people they left behind have altered too. In particular, Beatrice, once bitten and twice shy as far as Benedick is concerned, can finally admit that he is her soul mate – but only after being comprehensively fooled by her friends. Hero, through tribulations that would daunt anybody, finds the man of her dreams.
And throughout all of this chicanery, a Naval Shore Patrol is bumbling its way through solving a mystery of Don John's manufacture, not helped in the slightest by Petty Officer Dogberry.
About the Royal Navy Theatre Association (RNTA)
The RNTA is an association of a number of individual theatre clubs within the Royal Navy. It exists to enhance teamwork between service personnel, their families, civilians who work with them and members of local communities. Clubs are spread across the country and further afield, from Culdrose in Cornwall to Gibraltar.
The RNTA produces a Theatre Festival every year, allowing participating clubs to compete in an atmosphere of friendly rivalry. Every two years, the Portsmouth-based clubs get together to stage a joint production in a civilian venue and have become known for performing adaptations of the works of Sir Terry Pratchett.