My Offer Is This: Nothing

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Aoibhéann McCann and Éinne Ó Connachtáin in Much Ado About Nothing

A production by Fool’s Fortune theatre company of Much Ado About Nothing.

In the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin from TOMORROW at 7pm and thence until August 17. Completely FREE.

“Aoibhéann McCann, who has just returned from London, in the role of Beatrice and Éinne Ó Connachtáin as Benedick. They will join a cast of over 25 actors, performers and musicians, who will continue the legacy of exceptional, unplugged performances in one of Dublin’s most enchanting venues.”

But is it still relevant?

Verily apparently

stephanieStephanie Courtney

Stephanie Courtney, Much Ado director writes:

“I had not originally wanted to produce Much Ado About Nothing, but a conflict arose concerning my play of choice. As I started to work on Much Ado, I was shocked by how relevant it is to our culture today.

In the play, Hero, the young daughter of the Governor, Leonato, is falsely accused of having sex with another man the night before her wedding. What her fiancé sees is Hero’s maid, Margaret, having sex with Borrachio – and calling Borrachio ‘Claudio,’ loudly. Margaret is innocent in that she does not know that Borrachio has conspired with Don John to have Claudio and the Prince, Don Pedro, see this encounter. So two women are wronged to get at Claudio.

Margaret is tricked into ‘performing’ for these three men, and Claudio publicly shames Hero at their wedding by calling her a whore in front of everyone. Once hearing this, Leonato, tells Hero she should die because of her shame. (Like fathers who blame their daughters who are raped.)

All of the men in the play (except Benedick) believe each other and never stop to think what kind of person Hero really is – and the women of the play have no authority to counter this slander. Of course Much Ado is a comedy, so all’s well that end’s well, but the issues in the play are real and very prevalent today. Hero’s ‘death’ is like those young men and women who are killing themselves because of bullying and slut shaming online.

Look at what happened in Magaluf. All of the attention is on the girl but I’ve heard very little about how despicable ALL of those men were who tricked her. The ‘not all men’ idea is bullshit from top to bottom. All men should be defending the honour of their sex and not allowing horrible men to get away with these terrible acts, but as Beatrice says in the play: “…manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing; therefore I will die a woman with grieving.”

If men don’t want to be lumped in with thugs and bullies, they need to stand up and say ‘No more!’ But they don’t, and women are left to defend our bodies, our honour and our reputations by ourselves. Good men are not getting involved in these horrible situations. In the play, Beatrice demands Benedick get involved – and he does, and that’s what makes Benedick worthy of a woman like Beatrice and it’s what makes Benedick truly honourable – because he takes action against his best mate, who has done a terrible wrong. We need that now in our society more than ever. We need all of us to act, not just to talk about it on Facebook.

I could go on and on about this. I think audiences are going to be surprised by what they see and I hope that they will see that as a community – as a group of people tied together by place, culture and dare I say values – that we defend each other and act out of conscience and compassion rather than our tempers and fervor for drama.

ZOUNDS!

Ye Fighte!

Much Ado About Nothing in The Iveagh Garden’s (Facebook)

24 thoughts on “My Offer Is This: Nothing

  1. Bacchus

    “Much Ado Abouth Nothing” Really? Probably corrected by the time anybody sees it but still… literary culture an’ all like.

  2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly

    In LA years ago I remember someone thought it was a Latino play. Muchado About Nothing.

    Yanks, eh? Awful dopes.

    1. WhoAreYa

      In fairness that was the last paragraph. I only managed it down this far

      If men don’t want to be lumped in with thugs and bullies, they need to stand up and say ‘No more!’

      1. Anne

        I know. I’m a little masochistic at times.. I couldn’t stop reading even though it was obviously after the first sentence it was going to be a pile of horsesh*te.
        Like watching a bad movie.. sometimes, you’ll finish it, as a test of endurance.

        1. Jim Computer

          I read this comment, even though it was obviously after the seventeenth word that it wasn’t written in English.

  3. wearnicehats

    I don’t really know why people like this are given the time of day. Billy boy wrote a play about marriage. poking fun at marriage, poking fun at what marriage was 200 years ago. It’s a fairly balanced slagging of both men and women – and much more irreverent than most plays you’ll get today – probably because most writers are scared of offending the like of this wan (yes – irony is intended).

    1. rotide

      Really enjoyed Joss’s version too.

      Right note of whimsy and gravity struck at the right times.

  4. ahjayzis

    I stood up at my desk and roared “NO MORE!”

    Can I stop being lumped in with thugs and bullies now?

    I’m gonna lump this lady in with the “alienate your allies ‘coz dey hav dickz hun xxx” set. Wagon.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      Hear, hear….

      On the Magaluf issue…. “ALL of those men were who tricked her.” …yeah, they were all sober and not fed copious amounts of alcohol by the organisers just like the girl wasn’t right…. that’s what she is saying, ignoring large parts of the story to make a point… WTF?

      And on the ‘girl’ thing. It’s OK to call her a “girl” but refer to the boys as “men”. Thereby elevating the boys to responsibility of ‘men’ while making the ‘girl’ appear all sweet and innocent. I’m not defending any of these stupid boys (or girls), just pointing to the language used and the blame game inherent in it.

      There were women (or “girls” if you prefer) who took a hand in the party organisation of these party games too. Why is there no mention of those that organised the drinking games, the men and women behind the issue.

      The ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ who go to these type holidays know exactly what type of holiday they are heading for and the responsibility can and should be put back in their own laps and those of the party organisers.

      Blaming one gender for it is stupid.

      I don’t feel the need to defend my gender, I just call these boys idiots and morons and the girls too. Do women feel the need to defend the girl’s behaviour? Or the other girls who were quoted as saying that that’s just what goes on. Are those girls just ignored because they don’t fit the agenda? What’s the point in shouting for equal standing if there isn’t equal responsibility. It’s equal on everything or it’s not equal at all.

      While I feel sorry for the girl, blaming one gender is only half the problem.

      That’s me morning rant over.

      1. ahjayzis

        And even if the lads had ‘tricked her’

        It’s no more incumbent on me than it is on the woman next to me to decry them. I’m no more responsible by virtue of similar genitals than she is for Typhoid Mary.

        It’s such a childish way to look at the world and guarantees any associated attempt to change attitudes won’t work – I won’t take behaviour and attitude advice from a sexist cow.

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