In the beautiful grounds of
Townhill Park House
The Gregg School, Cutbush Lane, Southampton SO18 3RR
20 - 24 July 2021

Performances at 7:30pm nightly plus a matinée at 2:30pm Saturday 24th

Telephone bookings 0333 666 3366 (booking fee applies to phone bookings)

This is an OPEN AIR production

Our FOH colleagues will be ensuring that Government guidelines and regulations applicable at the time of performance are followed for everyone's safety and enjoyment of the production.  These guidelines could include the wearing of facemasks and social distancing – please check and observe the latest Government guidelines.  Thank you.
Should we have to cancel a show due to a change in Government regulations we will refund your ticket price.

‘Amore! Love’s a funny thing!’

Meddlesome friends and scheming nasties intervene in a story of love and loathing in 1930’s Italy.

Shakespeare’s timeless romantic comedy.  Claudio and Hero fall head over heels in love, almost before they have spoken half a dozen words between them.  Beatrice and Benedick hate each other of old.  Left to themselves they would probably do unspeakable things to each other.

So… wouldn’t it be satisfying if we planted ugly rumours about Hero, to ruin the wedding to Claudio?  And wouldn’t it be hilarious if we tricked Beatrice and Benedick into believing that each actually loved the other?

But don’t worry!
Thanks to Constable Dogberry and his rustic Neighbourhood Watch team the baddies are put to flight and everything ends happily ever after.

Director & Cast

The Director of this production is Brian Stansbridge

Messenger is played by Lee Taylor
Lee is currently doing extra work for a tv series. Despite always having had a passion for the creative arts, Lee hasn't performed on stage since college so he’s very excited to do so again. In his spare time, he likes to upload videos to his YouTube channel, called LeeeWithanE.

Leonato is played by Philip De Grouchy

Don Pedro is played by Adam Taussik

Claudio is played by Calum Daly

Benedick is played by Sam Hussey
Sam joined Maskers for their last open-air Shakespeare production 2 years ago, playing Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night. Following that, he appeared as The Guide in the studio show 100. Before that, his experience has mostly been in musicals, with roles including Joe Casey in Our House and the Mayor in Rock of Ages, although he has dabbled in Shakespeare before as Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. With the last year obviously being a complete loss for live audiences, he has kept the acting muscles occupied during lockdown and had great fun appearing in online murder mysteries with Murdered4Money. Sam is very much looking forward to getting in front of an audience again in one of his all-time favourite Shakespearian roles!

Hero is played by Katherine Evans
Katherine is delighted to be playing a ‘role’ in reviving live theatre this summer, especially one as aptly symbolic as Hero – who undergoes something of a demise and rebirth herself! Much Ado About Nothing is Katherine’s fourth production with Maskers, having previously appeared as Cecily Cardew in The Importance of Being Earnest (2014), Emily in Our Town (2014) and Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion (2016). She has also performed a wide range of roles with other local companies, including principal parts in musicals and operetta, and directed several shows. She has a degree in Classics and is currently completing further studies in English Literature.

Beatrice is played by Anna Hussey
Anna joined Maskers over 2 years ago and has been involved both on and off stage. Debuting in Wyrd Sisters as part of the ensemble in 2018, Anna has contributed backstage and started helping with marketing in 2019 before returning to the Maskers’ stage for 100 to play Nina in October 2019.
Anna has been excited to take on the role of Beatrice ever since she was originally cast at the beginning of 2020. Beatrice is one of Anna’s favourite Shakespearean characters and she really hopes that she can do her justice! The cherry on top for Anna is that she gets to play alongside her husband and have a “merry battle of wits” with him as Benedick.

Don John is played by Alec Sleigh
Alec trained at the Identity School of Acting in London. His first stage role was as the lead in yt2’s 2017 production of Birdland which enjoyed a run at the Edinburgh Fringe. This was then followed by roles with several other companies in theatre productions like Miss Julie, At The Mountains of Madness, and Hamlet. He has also appeared in multiple independent films and is currently working on a modern-day film adaptation of Prometheus Bound; portraying the titular character.
Much Ado About Nothing is his first role with Maskers. This is a play he has always wanted to be a part of and he cannot wait to get back on stage with such a wonderful company!

Borachio is played by Jez Minns
Jez Minns has been acting, mostly in amateur theatre but sometimes professionally, for the last 35 years (it seems so long when you write it down!) and he still loves everything about the theatre, even learning the lines. His most recent appearances were as Antonio, the gay sea captain in Twelfth Night and as the bully-boy Innkeeper in The Flint Street Nativity two years ago. He is very happy to be directing the one-act comedy Sharks in the Custard as part of a double bill in the Maskers’ Studio this September.

Conrade is played by David Jobson

Antonio is played by Paul Baker

Margaret is played by Jenni Watson
Jenni’s love of acting was ignited when she appeared as an extra in A Man for all Seasons whilst at Drama School. Over the years she has performed for Maskers, as well as many local groups, in a variety of settings. Her favourite roles include, Lady Booby (Joseph Andrews), Nancy (Sitting Pretty), Mrs Pearce (Pygmalion), the Contessa (An Italian Straw Hat), and in A Remembrance Anthology. Jenni is delighted to be able to act again (and with such a talented team) after an agonising absence of many months due to the Covid pandemic!

Ursula is played by Jo Fox

Balthasar is played by Chris Williams
Chris joined the Maskers just before the end of the last ice age. Due to work commitments he only manages to appear in Maskers’ shows about once every decade, so he is really looking forward to this production of Much Ado About Nothing.
He last appeared for Maskers in Treasure Island at Hamptworth Lodge in 2011 and before that in Flare Path at the Plaza Theatre in Romsey in 1989. So, in fact, once a decade is an exaggeration!

Dogberry is played by Marie McDade

Verges is played by Jo Iacovou

The Watch is played by Sue Dashper

The Watch is played by Angela Stansbridge
Angie has been a member of Maskers since 1973 and has enjoyed playing a wide range of parts, most recently in Twelfth Night (our first show at Townhill Park House), Don Quixote, Room at the Inn, Ten Times Table, The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Treasure Island and The Importance of Being Earnest. Angie is the Chair of Maskers so is always busy working with the committee on the smooth running and the creativity of the company.

The Watch is played by Jill Desborough

Fr. Fancis is played by Michele Zadra

Sexton/Lord/Messenger is played by Jill Desborough

Creative Team

Production Manager
Chris Baker
Stage Manager
Robert Osborne
Deputy Stage Manager
Kathryn Salmon
Assistant Stage Manager
Set Design
John Hamon
Set Construction
John Hamon, Graham Buchanan & Ken Hann
Set Dressing
Lighting Designer
Clive Weeks
Lighting Operator
Sound Designer
Jamie McCarthy
Sound Operator
Costume Designer
Serena Brown
Costume Supervisor
Susan Wilson
Adam Taussik
Electrical Infrastructure Design
Clive Weeks
Electrical Engineering Overseer
Jamie McCarthy
FOH Manager
Meri Mackney
Car Park Manager
Stage Crew
Rehearsal Prompt

Ticket Information

EARLY BIRD OFFER - buy before 31st May and get £2 off Adult fixed night ticket!

Fixed night: £14* until May 31st, then £16;
Flexible night in advance: £18;
On the gate: £18 (Cash & cheques only)

(Not recommended for under 5s)
5 to 16yrs: £13 (all options)

(16+ in full time education - ID required)
£14 (all options)

10% off fixed night tickets for groups of 10 or more (not applicable for Early Bird Offer)


Patrons are welcome to picnic in the beautiful grounds of TownHill Park House (The Gregg School) from 6.00pm (1.00pm on Saturday 24 July for the Matinée).

Note – the Gertrude Jekyll garden also will be open for viewing but no picnics are allowed in that area.

You are advised to bring low-back chairs, rugs, etc., as NO SEATING IS PROVIDED.

We suggest you also bring jumpers or coats, as it can get cold even on the warmest of evenings.  Please also come prepared for our English weather, we have been known to have the occasional shower.  Usually, we continue to perform unless the weather is extremely bad.  Any decision to postpone a show or cancel a performance will not be made sooner than 30 mins prior to the published start time.  Should we have the misfortune to have to cancel a whole show then no refunds will be given but tickets for alternative performances will be offered.

The Gregg School is a private school, and the grounds are not generally open to the public.  There is no public access prior to the performance dates.  Dates of occasional open days to view the gardens at other times can be found on the Gregg School website.

Ample free parking and toilet facilities will be provided with provision for disabled patrons.   There is a short walk of approx. 100 metres to the performance area.

Hot and cold drinks and snacks will be available to buy.  There will be no alcohol for sale, but you are welcome to bring your own.

No unaccompanied children under 16.   No dogs (except guide dogs).

Poster, Flyer & Programme

Available after the performance

For the Maskers

Technical Manager:- Jamie McCarthy;   Lighting Consultant:- Clive Weeks;   Sound Consultant:- Jamie McCarthy;   Marketing Director:- Angela Stansbridge;   Marketing Team:-  Peter Court, Anna Hussey, Clive Weeks, Robert Osborne, Meri Mackney, Paul Baker;   Front of House Manager:- Chris Baker;   Box Office Manager:- Chris Baker;   Company Photographer:- Clive Weeks;   Bar Manager:- Meri Mackney

Thank You

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Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

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Our postal address is: Maskers Theatre Company, Unit 1, Off Emsworth Road, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 3LX

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The Berry Theatre
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