Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Much Ado about Nothing (1967, Alan Cooke)

TitleMuch Ado about Nothing
Release LocationsGB
DirectorAlan Cooke
Length2 hrs, 3 mins
Play ConnectionsMuch Ado About Nothing (teleplay)


A version of the 1967 National Theatre Company Production of Much Ado, edited for television. The play, originally directed for the stage by Franco Zeffirelli, was pre-recorded in the studio on January 11, 1967. The cast of forty three actors spent three weeks in rehearsal for the tv performance. Hence the production passes over the line from being a mere "recording" of a stage play to the status of a full-scale television drama. The team of Zeffirelli and Rota, who were subsequently to act as director and composer of the fabulously successful 1969 film of Romeo and Juliet, brought their special gifts to the production. With such luminaries as Maggie Smith (Beatrice), Derek Jacobi (Don Pedro), Frank Finlay (Dogberry), John McEnery (Gentleman), it glittered with talent. Unfortunately (and improbably) no copy seems to have been preserved

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

ClaudioMichael Byrne
UrsulaWynne Clark
VergesGraham Crowden
Friar FrancisPaul Curran
A LordDenis De Marne
DogberryFrank Finlay
BalthazarNeil Fitzpatrick
BorachioDavid Hargreaves
Don PedroDerek Jacobi
LeonatoGerald James
HeroCaroline John
MargaretCarolyn Johns
AntonioHarry Lomax
GentlemanJohn McEnery
ConradeEdward Petherbridge
Don JohnRonald Pickup
SextonDavid Ryall
BeatriceMaggie Smith
BenedickRobert Stephens

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorAlan Cooke
ProducerCedric Messina
ProducerRobert Stephens
ComposerNino Rota
ChoreographyRomayne Grigorova
Adaptor/TranslatorRobert Graves
Stage DirectorFranco Zeffirelli
ProductionMel Cornish

Company Overview

Playgroup The Inanimates
Playgroup The Town Band

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell