Our team chose to do our film project on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, Scene 3, Act 1, Lines 15-115. The scene includes three characters, Beatrice, Ursula and Hero. We chose for both interpretations to have Cai Samphire, a male, act the character Beatrice. Hilary James acted as Ursula and Brydie Thomas played Hero.
For our first performance we chose to do a time appropriate rendition of the scene. We shot this version at the Rundle Ruins in downtown Calgary. Our team felt the location provided an appropriate background to continue with the chosen theme. In this version, true to how the play was written, Beatrice is a woman. We felt that a male playing a female role was appropriate with the fact that in Shakespeare’s time, all the roles would have been played by men. Cai as a man being drawn into an intrigue with another man is a way of taking a classic representation of a love story and making it consistent with modern romance. Our choice to have one long camera shot for this interpretation as well is a nod to how the play would have appeared. We also chose to continue with the time appropriate interpretation by using classical music.
The second performance is a modern take on the scene. We chose the university for this version and used multiple shots at different angles. The multiple cuts allowed us to play more with the space and have the film become more intimate as we could easily control what was in the shot versus the first version, which was shot outside. Having Cai portray Beatrice as a male in this version helped distinguish between our two chosen themes. As well, gender is more of a topic of discussion nowadays and having a male/male dynamic isn’t as taboo as it once was. We chose to use modern popular music for this version as well to maintain the present-day theme.