Twelfth Night

Tuesday 23 June – Saturday 4 July 2020


Much Ado About Nothing

The George
Directed by Susan painter

“Done to death by slanderous tongues, was the Hero that here lies”

It has been my great pleasure to direct this year’s production for Shakespeare at The George. I have been passionate since my childhood about Shakespeare’s plays. These works are, as often but accurately reported, ‘studies of the human condition’. They reflect humour, love, revenge, friendship, misunderstandings and more. His works offer insight into all aspects of interpersonal relationships that drive fundamental human interaction. These are of course as relevant today as ever.

My inspiration for the staging of the play has been taken from renaissance art. You will see this reflected in the colours of the costumes, and even the musical pieces and interludes. Indeed tonight this beautiful old courtyard will be the canvas upon which your actors will weave and paint the story of Much Ado About Nothing.

Despite its comedic nature, the play has its dark side; Don Johns’ jealousy of Claudio precipitates the cruellest hurts upon the innocent Hero. One might say that the theme of the play is to trust your feelings as much as any superficial evidence, and not to reach conclusions by assumption. Indeed Claudio in the end, realises this moral, as relevant for us today as when the words were first written.

My cast have been wonderful! Although the production is obviously for the enjoyment of you the audience, it is equally important for me that the actors leave the play with a greater sense of who their characters were, and discover a little about themselves along that journey. In this, my cast have surpassed themselves, and it has been my great pleasure to work with them.

I wish you a wonderful evening, and leave you in the capable hands of our fine actors and actresses, and the ever inspirational words of William Shakespeare.


LEONATO Derrick Scothern

BEATRICE Alex Priestley

HERO Victoria Bays

DON PEDRO Mark Reading

BENEDICK Andrew Winnard

DON JOHN John Shippey

CLAUDIO Martin Whelan

ANTONIO Richard Morley

CONRADE James Godwin

BORACHIO Mark Hebert

BALTHASAR Mike Richards

MARGARET Caroline Law

URSULA Polly Bisset

DOGBERRY Richard Brown

VERGES Andrew Keogh

SEACOAL Jan Sheppeard

WATCHMAN 1 Benjamin Noad

WATCHMAN 2 Oliver Scott


SEXTON Mike Richards

COURTIER # 1 Michelle Grobbelaar

COURTIER # 2 Catherine Akers

COURTIER # 3 Helen Knight

COURTIER # 4 Nicola Kelly

Production Team

Director Susan Painter

Choreographer Odele Stevens

Composer Rebecca Applin

Continuity Sarah Boon

Wardrobe Mistress Jo Fradley

Assisted by Suzanne Connor, Mo Pearce

Props Emma Heggie, Jaquie Spencer

Masks Lorraine Cavan, Susan Painter

Dogberry’s Headgear Robin Wilson

Poster Simon Webb

Make Up Diana Mackay, Jan Sheppeard, Maggie Lines, Hilary Lavin, Lesley Fenn

Set Construction & Backstage Kevin Connor, Ken McColin, Amy Monk, Chris Doyle, Richard Meredith, Marsha Guivas, Maryon Walls, Ruth Davies, Suzanne Connor

Stage Construction Kirton Construction

Lighting Team Ed Hopkins, Mel Pugsley, Alex Stevens, Roger Blackmore, Daniel Cousins, James Collingwood

Sound Team Elizabeth Connor, Adrian Wadey

Box Office Cheryl Cook &Team

Front of House & Sales Trish James, Michael Cook & Team

Publicity Julie Groves, Dee Wormald