This week we welcomed special guests to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for the first in-person Shakespeare production since the pandemic began.

Our vibrant new Much Ado About Nothing is set in a futuristic world, inspired by Afro-futurism and sci-fi amongst other influences.

To celebrate the opening, the ‘Original Moko Jumbie’ company joined us to welcome audiences to the theatre. The dancers joined the cast in early rehearsals for a movement and dance workshop.

dancers in huge colourful cloak-like costumes the whirl outwards stand outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at night
Igor Tavares, Marshal Siziva and Alan Vaughn from the Original Moko Jumbie company
Photo by Sam Allard, Fisher Studios © RSC Browse and license our images

A Moko Jumbie is a stilts walker or dancer associated with healing and protection. A 'moko' is a healer in Central Africa and 'jumbi', a West Indian term for a ghost or spirit. In Trinidad and Tobago the Moko Jumbie is a god who towers over his village, forseeing danger and evil. Since the 1990s Moko Jumbie has had a prominent role in Carnival. 

dancers in huge colourful cloak-like costumes the whirl outwards stand outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at night
Alan Vaughn and Igor Tavares from the Original Moko Jumbie company
Photo by Sam Allard, Fisher Studios © RSC Browse and license our images

Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Roy Alexander Weise, with set designed by Jemima Robinson and costumes by Melissa Simon-Hartman is now playing in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre until 12 March.