In this production the key role of Leonato will instead be Leonata; Hero’s mother played by Clare Barrett. Director Ronan Phelan explains why he switched the man of the house to a woman for this important character:
“There are some pretty questionable gender politics at the work in Much Ado About Nothing and there are many more male characters than female. By changing Hero’s father, Leonato, to her mother, Leonata, we go some way to balance the scales and ensure that this battle of the sexes is a fairer fight. We also get to explore more subtle and complex examples of patriarchal ideology and discrimination.
For as the play unfurls, Leonata is confronted by the devastating consequences of her endorsement of a world run by men and she must act quickly to protect her daughter’s name and resist those who would harm her.”
Rough Magic’s contemporary staging of Shakespeare’s celebrated screwball comedy will premiere at the Kilkenny Arts Festival 8th – 17th August, 8pm, with matinees at 3.30pm.