Much Ado About Nothing Cast Announced

    Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory (stf) are delighted to announce the cast for their 20th anniversary production of Much Ado About Nothing.

    Elizabeth Freestone directs Shakespeare’s riotous play of trickery and pretence after her celebrated Henry V for stf in 2018. Elizabeth’s most recent credits include Queen Margaret by Jeanie O’Hare for Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester in autumn 2018 and Nora: A Doll’s House for Glasgow Citizen’s Theatre 2019 – a radical new version of Ibsen’s play which transfers to Young Vic Theatre, London in 2020. Her RSC directing work includes, The Comedy of Errors and The Rape of Lucrece – a radical interpretation of Shakespeare’s poem which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival before touring internationally to five-star reviews.

    Elizabeth says: “I’m pinching myself every time I think about the cast we’ve assembled for Much Ado About Nothing in stf’s anniversary year. This brilliant ensemble is going to bring Shakespeare’s much-loved characters to life in vivid and unforgettable ways, revealing new insights and shedding new light. The play’s dynamic partnerships and intriguing social circles are a treat for actors to delve into. I know this diverse company will relish every second of getting to know their characters, warts and all! I can’t wait to start rehearsals.”

    Much Ado About Nothing
    By William Shakespeare

    Wed 16 October – Sat 09 November

    Ursula Alice Barclay
    Beatrice Dorothea Myer-Bennett
    Leonato Christopher Bianchi
    Hero/Verges Hannah Bristow
    Don Jon/Sexton Georgia Frost
    Margaret Bethan Mary-James
    Benedick Geoffrey Lumb
    Claudio/Oatcake Imran Momen
    Dogberry Louise Mai Newberry
    Don Pedro/Seacole Zachary Powell
    Borachio/Friar Alex Wilson

    Dorothea Myer-Bennett returns during stf’s 20th anniversary year after many previous credits for the company including – Rosalind in As You Like It, Lady Croom in Arcadia, Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Lady Anne in Richard III, Célimene in The Misanthrope, Adriana in Comedy of Errors, Regan in King Lear and Varya in The Cherry Orchard. Dorothea trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

    Geoffrey Lumb joins stf for the first time as Benedick. Geoffrey’s most recent credits include; Tartuffe (National Theatre), Troilus and Cressida (RSC), This House (National Theatre Tour), Vice Versa, Coriolanus (RSC), King Charles III (UK tour and Sydney Australia), Macbeth and Twelfth Night (Filter Theatre Company). Geoffrey trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.


    Imran Momen trained at LAMDA and his theatre credits include; Greyscale (The Waterloo Vaults), Romeo & Juliet (Guildford Shakespeare), The People’s Revolt (Tower of London), The Indigo Giant (NT Studio), Cockamamy (Summerhall, Edinburgh Fringe), House & Garden (The Watermill); Hamlet (Fox & Chips Theatre), Richard III (Old Red Lion), The Winter’s Tale (Guildford Shakespeare).


    Hannah Bristow trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and was Winner of the Newton Blick Award for Most Versatile Actor 2016. Recent theatre credits include; Napoli, Brooklyn (Original Theatre Company), Rudolf (Pins and Needles), Kindertransport (Queens Theatre Hornchurch/Theatre de la Ville), Jane Eyre (National Theatre), Who Cares (The Lowry).


    Bethan Mary-James trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Her theatre credits include; This Beautiful Village (Abbey Theatre), Henry II (Between the Lines Theatre), Pride and Prejudice (Nottingham Playhouse), The Revenger’s Tragedy (Nottingham Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), All My Sons (Manchester Royal Exchange), Future For Beginners (Wales Millennium Centre), B.F.G (Derby Playhouse).

    Louise Mai Newberry’s theatre credits include; Plenty (Chichester Festival Theatre), All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare’s Globe), Lampedusa (Glasgow Citizen’s Theatre), The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie (Arcola), Any Means Necessary (Nottingham Playhouse), The Snow Dragon (St James Theatre), Pericles, The Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Factory), King Lear (Orange Tree), The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (RSC).

    Georgia Frost trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and she was National Winner of Monologue Slam 2018, Winner of The Alan Bates Award 2017 and Stephen Sondheim Performer of The Year Finalist – Winner of best song 2017. Her most recent theatre credits include; Dead Dog in a Suitcase (Kneehigh Theatre), Wild Swimming (Full Rogue/Bristol Old Vic), A Monster Calls (The Old Vic), The Meaning of Zong (Bristol Old Vic), The Little Mermaid (The Egg/Theatre Royal Bath).

    Zachary Powell appeared most recently for stf in Henry V 2018 (Ustinov Studio) and Othello 2017 (stf co-production in Bristol with Tobacco Factory Theatres and on UK and International tour with English Touring Theatre). Other theatre credits include; Macbeth (Insane Root) Much Ado About Nothing (Vienna’s English Theatre).


    Alex Wilson trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and was nominated for The Stage Debut Award 2018 for Best Actor in a Play for The Elephant Man at Bristol Old Vic. He was Winner of the Newton Blick Prize for Versatility 2018 and Mike and Jan Gale Prize for Dance, 2017. Recent theatre credits include; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Lord Chamberlain’s Men) and Jane Eyre (Watermill Theatre).

    stf are pleased to welcome back Christopher Bianchi after many previous credits for stf including, Othello (UK and International tour co-produced with English Touring Theatre. In Bristol with Tobacco Factory Theatres), Tartuffe, All’s Well That Ends Well, Hamlet, Living Quarters, As You Like It, Arcadia, Richard III, The Cherry Orchard, King Lear, Anthony and Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. Other theatre credits include, The Rivals, Aesop’s Fables (Bristol Old Vic), A Christmas Carol, Waiting for Godot (Tobacco Factory Theatres), The Nutcracker (Bath Theatre Royal), King Lear, The Provok’d Wife, The Seagull, (Peter Hall Company), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Three Musketeers (Dukes Theatre).

    Alice Barclay re-joins stf after playing Exeter in Henry V last year (Ustinov Studio). Her other theatre credits include; The Grinning Man (Bristol Old Vic), A Menace and Swallows and Amazons (Theatre West at the Bristol Old Vic) War Horse (The National Theatre) and Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Taming of The Shrew (RSC).

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