Can Katherine Parkinson and John Heffernan as Beatrice and Benedick bring the necessary spark, melancholy and laughter required to Shakespeare’s autumnal romantic comedy? It’s a play which genuinely requires chemistry to be a joy. Simon Godwin, who has delivered at this address over and over –including with a digital version of Romeo and Juliet during the pandemic—is on hand to ensure there is the necessary sexual tension and deal with the funny business that so often falls a wee bit flat. When this play works it can be totally enchanting and with the NT in need of an outright hit, let’s hope it delivers.
Escape to the Italian Riviera with a cast including Katherine Parkinson (Home, I'm Darling, The IT Crowd) and John Heffernan (Dracula, She Stoops to Conquer). Since 1931, the legendary family-run Hotel Messina has been visited by artists, celebrities and royalty. When the current owner’s daughter falls for a dashing young soldier, the hallways are ringing with the sound of wedding bells. However, not all the guests are in the mood for love, and a string of deceptions soon surround not only the young couple, but also the steadfastly single Beatrice and Benedick. Director Simon Godwin (Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra) returns following the award-winning success of his Romeo & Juliet film.