Rome wasn't built in a day but a tropical island resort can be whipped up in a whirlwind. When I was at The Playhouse at QPAC on Monday evening, the set for Much Ado About Nothing was little more than a shell. There were a couple of tree trunks and not much more. The director Jason Klarwein explained the vision of a playground for the rich set on a tropical island some place off the Queensland coast. He explained the revolving set and the technical tricks that would show the passage of time turning day into night and back to day. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one thinking "sounds awesome but you do know the first preview is on Saturday night, right?" Oh me of little faith. Fast forward to noon today and back at The Playhouse. It hardly looks like the same place. That vision the director painted for us on Monday had materialised and it was just as he said it would be and perhaps even a bit better. We were also treated to a scene from the play. Wow. Just wow. I know I am not a lone ranger in saying that high school English could have ruined Shakespeare for me forever. The hideous boredom of going around the class reading lines in turn then trying to analyse them is the stuff of nightmares.
But see a quality production and you are suddenly convinced that all those experts who say the man is a genius are right. Surprise. Surprise.