Much Ado About Shakespeare: Love, Comedy and the Meaning of Life

131 TUTOR: Lauraine Klugman

On this course, play reading may lead to role playing, maybe hesitantly, maybe with panache! Your backdrop is Shakespeare's universal portrayals of love and doubt, joy and foolishness, friendship and gulling, jealousy, rivalry, hatred, cruelty and murderous envy. Extracts are provided from Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Winter's Tale and Romeo and Juliet. Offstage and uninvited, Hamlet may wait in the wings. Philosophers' comments may add to the reading, action and discussion, enriched by one or two video clips of acclaimed film or TV productions.

1 PM
PM course

Course Notes


Reading extracts from Much Ado About Nothing: Shakespeare portrays love through character and situation humour.

Getting into a role using props and movement; being directed and in groups trying your hand at watching and directing others.


Reading extracts from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Love, how it can be thwarted, and how it can be nurtured. Discussion and experimenting with movements, voice and actions.


Extracts from Romeo and Juliet and A Winter's Tale (oh, and here comes, for a few minutes, Hamlet and his Dad).

Love, passion, parents' interference and children's fate...

Thursday and Friday:

Sharpening the humour in the scenes! Developing and trying and watching different ways of playing Shakespeare's situation humour.

You do not have to be a Shakespeare scholar for this fun course. Our adventure is to try out and understand when, if and how Shakespeare's comedy arises. At the end of the Course you will have:

1. Read and appreciated (even) more of Shakespeare's themes of love and mischief, his characters and situations; discussed how love can be thwarted by other characters' interference. And how it can triumph.

2. Taken part in warm-ups and discussions, using texts and props, reading and walking through roles, experimenting with being and behaving as characters to develop Shakespeare's amusing interactions and situations, for instance the Clowns and the 4 lovers in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Much Ado About Nothing.

Why and how do Shakespeare's plays remain fresh every decade, every year? Every director/adaptor since has attempted to put their own mark on his work, to extend his ideas and themes. In Upstart Crow (BBC), for instance, David Mitchell ironically mocks the pomposity of his character Shakespeare turning wisdom on its head - and that's funny. Ken Dodd's brilliance may not be achievable in a week… but we'll add our penn'orth to philosophers' pearls, 'suit the action to the words...' and come up with something approximating 'the meaning of life'…

And we'll watch a film clip or two, comparing our ideas with leading directors'.

Your qualities, thoughts and ideas will be core for this class, and I'll help with voice projection, tone and timbre, rhythm and movement, timing, disguise (there'll be a few props) and development of humour and intrigue!

Please bring library copies of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. Other text extracts & DVD extracts will be provided.

Course Tutor

Lauraine Klugman

About Lauraine

Text and story also feature in my everyday life as a drama therapist working with clearly defined therapeutic boundaries. Troubled clients can get in touch safely with their difficult feelings, working through these creatively to bring a sense of feeling listened to, less stress.

This Course is not therapy. I'm delighted to be teaching and facilitating at MCSS and I am looking forward to meeting the class! Some years ago I put on a working performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Shaw House Orangery grounds with GCSE Drama students: a favourite memory.

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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM