Photography by Cylla von Tiedemann for Tarragon Theatre

Much Ado about Brampton

You know you are a big city when you become the centre of a new play. Much Ado About Nothing now playing at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto is set in modern day Brampton. A plot line originally told by Shakespeare in 1598, it was time for a remake of this kind.

A good story is meant to be told over and over again, even if we return to the past and redo it for modern times. Remaking Shakespeare is not something new; this latest retake is unique, as it’s reinterpreted for a 21st century Greater Toronto Area audience.

Leonato’s household becomes the suburban home of Mayor Ranjit of Brampton, while Don Pedro’s troupe has briefcase toting business men in Armani-esque couture, and Bramalea is owned by billionaire business mogul Lord Tata. Names are changed as is customary in cultural remakes, but the core of Shakespeare’s story remains – two couples in different stages of love get into the turmoil of lies, deception, misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

Directed by Richard Rose, with collaboration by consulting director Ravi Jain, choreographer Nova Bhattacharya and cultural consultant/Hindi translator Sharada Eswar, their remake successfully transposes a classic tale while respecting cultures, geographical locations and genres. Their version is full of funny moments, as well as tragedy as in the original, but the way they reworked areas of the original manuscript to incorporate Hindi with English subtitles, and the deliberate cross-cultural ways they deal with certain situations, nothing of the story premise is lost in translation. If anything, it is all the better for it.

You do not have to be Shakespearean to appreciate Much Ado About Nothing, only a proud Bramptonian with a sense of humour. This show is totally worth the drive into Toronto.

The world premiere of this Bollywood-inspired adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, is now playing in the Mainspace at Tarragon Theatre.

Opened April 29 and runs to May 31, 2015
Tarragon Theatre’s Mainspace, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto
Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2:30pm and select Saturdays at 2:30pm: May 2, May 9, May 16.
Tickets: $27-$55 (Discounts for seniors, students, arts workers and groups)
Tickets can be purchased through Patron Services at 416.531.1827 or by visiting
Rush Tickets: For every performance excluding opening night, specially priced $15 Rush Tickets will be sold (subject to availability) in person at the Box Office two hours before show time.