The Much Ado About Nothing Press night but did they like it?
Was lucky enough to get to go to the press night of the Tennant/Tate Much Ado About Nothing last night - thanks to @polyg securing us tickets (nope not a freebie). Think I was more excited about the celeb spotting than the play, initially: Billie Piper, Bob Geldolf (with Tiger Lily), Neil Pearson, Georgia Moffett, Peter Davidson, Richard Wilson and Angela Rippon were all in.
But then the play started and it's all got a little bit calmer and subsequently more coherent and rounded since the first preview I saw. And it is really good - the most enjoyable Shakespeare comedy I've seen.
At the first preview I gave it four stars, the hysteria of the first night fans was a little too much, but it's going up to five now and we even stood for the ovation - first time I've done that. And now the professional reviewers have seen it what did they think? Not that is matters one jot as it's virtually sold out.
Last night I predicted on Twitter that one critic wouldn't enjoy it but was I right?
Michael Billington in the Guardian gives it four stars: "While Jeremy Herrin's version at Shakespeare's Globe has many admirable qualities, this West End revival is 20 minutes shorter, more socially specific and much sexier"
Charles Spencer in the Telegraph also gave it four stars, although don't read his review if you want Mr Tennant's spectacular entrance to remain a surprise: "This, in short, is populist Shakespeare with both intelligence and heart."
Henry Hitchins in The Evening Standard is a another four star review: "I have seen funnier productions of Much Ado, and more pungently intelligent ones, but Rourke's account oozes charm."
And yes I was right, someone didn't like it. That honour goes to The Independent's Paul Taylor who gave it three stars: "Despite Tennant's gloriously engaging Benedick - I'd rather go to the Globe"