SHINE BRIGHT: Marissa Bennett, Vivienne Awosoga, David Whitney and Suzanne Pereira star in Bell Shakespeare's  Much Ado About Nothing .
SHINE BRIGHT: Marissa Bennett, Vivienne Awosoga, David Whitney and Suzanne Pereira star in Bell Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing . Rockhampton Regional Council

A dastardly plot, broken promises and bumbling cops

A DASTARDLY plot, misinformation, false accusations, broken promises and bumbling cops feature in Shakespeare's timeless comic gem, Much Ado About Nothing to be performed at the Pilbeam Theatre in September.

The play, once described by Bell Shakespeare founder John Bell as "Shakespeare's sunniest comedy” centres around a saucy and razor-sharp battle of wits between the bickering Beatrice and Benedick.

When Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, arrives back from battle he and his men are ready to make love, not war.

There is Claudio, clumsy in the ways of love, who has fallen for Governor Leonato's daughter, named Hero.

And there's the play's actual hero, Benedick, a serial singleton in love with his bachelor lifestyle.

Benedick has a tempestuous friendship with Beatrice, who runs rings around all the menfolk but saves her sharpest wisecracks for Benedick.

So, while Claudio and Hero agree to marry, Benedick and Beatrice trade barbs that make the battlefield look benign.

But for some infuriating reason Benedick can't get Beatrice out of his system.

Add to this a dastardly plot, misinformation, false accusations, broken promises and bumbling cops and you have one of Shakespeare's most loved comedies.

Much Ado About Nothing is produced by Bell Shakespeare, directed by James Evans, and stars Zindzi Okenyo as Beatrice, with Duncan Ragg as Benedick.

They will be joined on stage by Vivienne Awosoga, Danny Ball, Marissa Bennett, Mandy Bishop, Will McDonald, Suzanne Pereira, Paul Reichstein and David Whitney.

After directing Bell Shakespeare's national tour of Julius Caesar in 2018, James Evans is thrilled to steer the 2019 tour.

"Much Ado About Nothing is the original 'from hate to love' romantic comedy that we've seen repeated in films and plays since Shakespeare's time. But beneath its sparkling wit and hilarious characters, there is a dark conflict that drives this play to the edge of tragedy,” she said.

"The story flips from uproarious comedy to utter heartbreak in an instant, and then back again. That is the genius of Shakespeare, and why this play is one of my absolute favourites.”

Much Ado About Nothing will be performed at the Pilbeam Theatre on Tuesday, September 10.

Tickets are priced at $52 for adults and $48 for concessions.