Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

Much Ado about Nothing (1978, Donald McWhinnie)

TitleMuch Ado about Nothing
Release LocationsGB
DirectorDonald McWhinnie
Audiencehigh school
Play ConnectionsMuch Ado About Nothing (teleplay)


Originally scheduled to be shown in the opening season of the BBC "Shakespeare Plays" series, this was the first production completed for the ambitious six-year project (actually more like seven years). It never found its way to the television screens of the United States. Conjecture had it that the dialects of the lower-class characters in the play were too richly British to be understood by Americans. Whatever the reason, North American audiences lost an opportunity to see Michael York as Benedick. According to the Holderness and McCullough filmography (q.v.), the videocassette is available for "hire or sale" in the United Kingdom from the BBC. For the time being, Americans must content themselves with the publicity still in SFNL 2.2 (Apr. 1978): 1

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

Don PedroNigel Davenport
BeatricePenelope Keith
Don JohnIan Richardson
BenedickMichael York

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorDonald McWhinnie
ProducerCedric Messina
ProductionDon Taylor

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell