We’ve got Shakespeare covered in June thanks to Joss Whedon’s (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers) delightful adaptation of the Bard’s much loved comedy Much Ado About Nothing and five brilliant adaptations that make up this month’s Bard Sunday Brunches. Presented in partnership with Bristol Shakespeare Festival (5-21 July) these 6 films are the perfect taster to get you ready to enjoy the feast of treats and performances the Bristol Shakespeare Festival has lined up in July.
There is no denying the continuing impact and inspiration that Shakespeare has on both audiences and practitioners – and not even a major Hollywood player like Joss Whedon, who directed the Box Office smash The Avengers (he’s now working on the sequel), is immune to the call of the Bard. What did he choose to do when he had a bit of down time in between finishing the shoot for Avengers and beginning post-production? Did he take his wife on a promised romantic anniversary trip? No he did not – instead he got some of his friends together at his house and made an adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing in just 12 days – oh and his wife co-produced it with him!
Whedon wisely has not messed with a story that has resonated for four hundred years, but has nevertheless included several cutely hilarious updates, such as a tinkling, jazz piano-led rendition of 'Hey Nonny Nonny'. Beautifully shot in soft black and white, and filled with lively, mischievous bits of humour, this is a film that is brimming with youthful vitality, and is sure to impress whether you're a Whedon fan, a Shakespeare fan, or simply a fan of romantic comedies.
Our June Sunday Brunches are also devoted to the work of the Bard - five films that testify to his lasting influence from directors as varied as Roman Polanski (Macbeth), Akira Kurosawa (Throne of Blood), Baz Luhrmann (William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) and Laurence Olivier's triumphant interpretation of Shakespeare's warrior king Henry V.
Much Ado About Nothing (PG) opens on Fri 14 June
Showing in Bard Brunches : Henry V (U) (Sun 2 June 12:00), Macbeth (15) (Sun 9 June 12:00), Shakespeare in Love (15) (Sun 16 June 12:00), William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (12A) (Sun 23 June 12:00) and Throne of Blood (12A S) (Sun 30 June 12:00).
Bristol Shakespeare Festival runs across Bristol from Fri 5 to Sun 21 July.