Much Ado About Nothing

Directed by Brendan Phelan
Performed in St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham, Tuesday 3 to Saturday 7 July 2018

The performance area for Summer Shakespeare in St Enda's Park

Much Ado About Nothing
Audience at the play in the Walled Garden of St Enda's Park on the evning of Wednesday 5 July 2018.


To many of the very many people who have enjoyed ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ it is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s best comedies. It has the humour and wit you might expect from the Bard; but it also has other aspects, not always associated with comedy, such as its serious contemplations on honour, shame, and the politics of courtly life in the 1500s. Thought to have been written in the latter years of the 16th century, it is a play from the middle of Shakespeare’s writing years. It’s a joyful comedy that ends with multiple marriages and no deaths.

Poster for much Ado About Nothing

In the beautiful, some might say idyllic surroundings of St Enda’s Park, Rathfarnham, William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ was presented by Balally Players in the Walled Garden beside the Pearse Museum.

In the play, the nobleman, Leonato, lives in the equally idyllic Italian town of Messina with his beautiful young daughter, Hero; his clever niece, Beatrice; and Antonio, his elderly brother, and Beatrice's father. The play opens after the end of a war when Leonato is getting ready to welcome some of the returning soldiers, including his close friend, Prince Don Pedro, a young nobleman Claudio, and Benedick, a clever joker, who enjoys making fun – often at the expense of others.

So the scene is set for love: Claudio quickly falls for Hero – for a war of witty insults: Benedick and Beatrice pick up where they left off before the real war began – and for the inevitable 'fly in the ointment': Don John (Don Pedro’s illegitimate brother), who brings a sullen, bitter disposition to the stage, determined to make lots of trouble for everyone.

Director Brendan Phelan Director, Brenadan Phelan


Before long, Claudio and Hero decide to get married. To pass the time while that is arranged, some of the others devise a game to visit the same fate on Benedick and Beatrice, with the intention of turning their bickering into betrothal.

Balally Players took Shakespeare's 'Much Ado ABout Nothing' to St. Enda’s Park Grange Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin for its Summer Shakespeare 2018 presentation.

The play, directed by Brendan Phelan, was performed outdoors in the Walled Garden, St. Enda’s Park from 3 to 7 July 2018. On 4 July, Brendan stood in for Oran O'Rua, who was unable to play the part of 'Dogberry' on that evening.

To see all of the people involved in the production, you can download the programme here.

Director with cast pre-show
Director, Brendan Phelan, briefing the cast before the show on Wednesday 4 July 2018 in St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham.




The contingency plan for wet weather was to move the performance to An Halla Mór in the Pearse Museum in St Enda’s Park. However, the heatwave of summer 2018 meant that was not necessary.

St Enda's Park is home to the Pearse Museum, which is housed where Patrick Pearse lived and ran his innovative Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna, between 1910 and 1916.



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Photographs taken by Declan Brennan at a performance on Wednesday 4 Julyy 2018.


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Cast of Much Ado About Nothing Cast of 'Much Ado About Nothing' take a bow at the end of the play on Wednesday 4 July 2018.