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Much Ado cast visit Birmingham’s Shakespeare collection
Via Helen for Everything to Everybody
October 2022: Much Ado About Nothing cast members, Daneka Etchells (who plays Beatrice) and Guy Rhys (Benedick) – visited the Everything to Everybody: Your Shakespeare, Your Culture exhibition to explore the accessible Much Ado materials held in the Shakespeare Collection.
Much Ado About Nothing runs until 8th October at Birmingham Rep and is presented by Ramps on the Moon, the pioneering initiative committed to elevating D/deaf and disabled artists and audiences in mainstream theatre. The production features integrated sign language, audio description and captioning.
Cast members visited the Everything to Everybody: Your Shakespeare, Your Culture exhibition at the Library of Birmingham. Free to visit, the exhibition is a collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Everything to Everybody Project and is presented by the Birmingham 2022 Festival. The exhibition is open until November 2022.
‘Beatrice’ and ‘Benedick’ viewed accessible materials from the Shakespeare Collection including a Braille edition of Much Ado dated 1916; a sound recording of the play; production photos and materials specifically created for visually impaired people.
Professor Ewan Fernie, Project Director Everything to Everybody Project said:
We have a wealth of Much Ado About Nothing material as part of the Shakespeare Collection at the Library of Birmingham and it’s wonderful to be able to share this with the cast of the current Much Ado production from our close neighbours, and project partners, The Rep.
With their production focusing on inclusivity and accessibility we were delighted to showcase some very special holdings including a Braille edition of Much Ado dating from 1916.”
Ben Wooldridge, Head of Communications at Birmingham Rep said:
With one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies playing on our main stage, it was the perfect opportunity to visit our neighbours at the Library of Birmingham and Everything to Everybody’s fascinating exhibition.
This unique production of Much Ado About Nothing has been receiving such a fantastic response critics and audiences and the cast were thrilled to be given the opportunity to discover Shakespeare’s strong connections to the Midlands and Birmingham.
The Rep, in fact, was the first theatre to stage Shakespeare in contemporary dress in 1923!”
Everything to Everybody: Your Shakespeare, Your Culture aims to highlight the Shakespeare Memorial Library’s relevance to the people of Birmingham today as well as showcasing the more than 40,000 volumes, 17,000 production photographs, 2,000 music scores, hundreds of British and international production posters, 15,000 performance programmes and 10,000 playbills that can be found in the collection.
Everything to Everybody Project is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, with funding contributed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and History West Midlands. Everything to Everybody will give Birmingham’s uniquely democratic Shakespeare heritage back to people and communities across the city. To achieve this, Everything to Everybody is working in conjunction with anchor institutions and grassroots organisations across Birmingham.
Everything to Everybody Project’s Your Shakespeare, Your Culture is free to visit at The Gallery, Level 3, Library of Birmingham and runs until 5th November 2022.
Everything to Everybody: Your Shakespeare, Your Culture is curated by the Royal Shakespeare Company Creative Placemaking and Public Programmes Team. The exhibition is presented by the Birmingham 2022 Festival, generously funded by Arts Council England and the National Heritage Lottery Fund.
Presented by Ramps on the Moon, Much Ado About Nothing is directed by Robert Hastie and runs at The Rep until 8th October. To book tickets visit birmingham-rep.co.uk. Find out more at everythingtoeverybody.bham.ac.uk. Social: E2EShakespeare.