I Know you of Old
The Hope Theatre
Opening Night – 15th June 2017
“It’s Shakespeare but not as we know it!”
Golem! returns to the Hope Theatre with a brand new take on Much Ado about Nothing. Using only the original text, David Fairs reimagines the story and depicts an alternative, previously untold dark comedy. I Know You of Old unpeels the intricate relationships between Beatrice, Benedick and Claudio.
Set for its entirety in the Chapel where the poor, mistreated Hero is laid centre stage ensuring that although she is dead, she cannot be forgotten
Conor O’Kane plays a guilt-stricken and remorseful Claudio. Why did he accuse Hero of such treachery when he knows deep down she wouldn’t have been capable of it? He sets out to atone for his sins. David Fairs is perfect for the role of sharp witted playboy Benedick. He commands the tiny set, engaging the audience with the strength of his delivery. Sarah Lambie as the savvy, intelligent Beatrice cleverly switches from scornful and indifferent to coquettish and seductive without missing a beat. All three deliver superb performances with an intensity that could easily transfer to a larger stage.
Director Anna Marsland gives the play a contemporary feel with the use of iPads, iPhones and social media – which with a bigger budget could probably be used to greater effect! The use of music here certainly added to the comedy value of the show – the choice of songs was a stroke of genius!
A prior knowledge of Much Ado probably enhances what you take away from this play but the reworking of the original text means that it can be watched as a stand alone performance too.
I Know you of Old
is at The Hope Theatre until 1st July
Production Images courtesy of GOLEM! Theatre
Reviewed by Angela East