1993 Queens Theatre Production

In 1993 two stars of today began to shine in a production of Much Ado About Nothing at the Queens Theatre in London; director Matthew Warchus and actor Mark Rylance.

Marking a turning point in both the men’s careers, this well received production took the West End by storm, making a name for both the young director and young actor ahead of their career peaks.

1993 Queens Theatre Much Ado About Nothing

The show also featured Mark Hadfield, who also went on to be a well-known theatre actor, appearing most recently in Jeeves and Wooster and Made in Dagenham.

This production of Much Ado was produced by Infinite Space and Thelma Holt and also featured choreography by Melly Still, music by Claire Van Kampen (married to Rylance) and designs by Neil Warmington.

Warchus’ production, set in the 1930’s, opened for press on July the 6th 1993 and ran


Leonato – Jonathan Newth

Don Pedro – Jack Ellis

Claudio – David Morrissey

Benedick – Mark Rylance

Beatrice – Janet McTeer

Hero – Rachel Joyce

Don John – Kevin Doyle

Margret – Christabelle Dilks

Gentlewoman – Rachel Lay

Borachio – Mark Hadfield

Conrade – Richard Katz

Dogberry – Gerard Kelly

Verges – Brian Shelley

Ursula – Jill Brassington

Friar Francis – Andrew Bridgmont

Watch – Dickon Tyrell, Graham Hubbard

Awards and Critical Reception

The 1993 production of Much Ado About Nothing received excellent audience and critics’ praise. The Evening Standard noted: “The production is staged in a huge blue tent, on whose flaps are painted sea and clouds. The world inside the tent, with its grass and deckchairs, cocktails and sliding panels of black blinds for the villainous Don John scenes suggests the pleasure-prone Thirties.”

This production also enabled Mark Rylance to win his first Laurence Olivier Award. Rylance fended off competition from Patrick Stewart, David Suchet and Henry Goodman, going on to win the 1994 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing.

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