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               COVID-19 Advice (issued 18 March 2020)

Given the current circumstances we've had a high number of groups make contact with us, and, due to the amount of effort put into rehearsals/marketing etc, most of them have so far wanted to re-schedule rather than cancel. We're not charging fees for any deferral of productions.

If you decide to postpone your production you probably won't know the dates for later in the year, or next year, yet, but please advise us nevertheless, and we'll issue a new temporary licence to show a date range of 2-3 months which you can then refine with us when the actual production dates are known.

Regarding cancellation: our administration fee will not be levied where you are forced to cancel your production.
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We will be unable to fulfil any orders for printed scripts for the foreseeable future. Any orders placed will be cancelled and a refund made.
Orders for downloadable preview scripts and e-scripts are not affected.


Much Ado

by Bernard J Taylor

Now playing : 'Victory'

'Much Ado' - a Shakespearean musical
"... a fine slab of musical writing, full of invention
and dripping with melody."
Mike Gibb, Masquerade Magazine


This item is only available from us to customers in UK and Europe.
If you are outside this area, please click here www.bernardjtaylor.com



Bernard J Taylor writes ... "For a number of years I had been toying with the idea of doing a musical based on one of Shakespeare's works and had been trawling through his complete works whenever the opportunity presented itself. One of the problems was that so many of them had already provided the basis for musicals in the past - Kiss Me Kate and West Side Story to name but two of the more successful ones.

I had more or less settled on tackling 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - and may return to this idea later - but then I saw Kenneth Branagh's cinema version of 'Much Ado About Nothing' and was immediately struck by its potential to be converted into a musical.

The story had a lot going for it - a mixture of comedy, romance and near-tragedy, with the feisty characters of Beatrice and Benedick at its core as they exchange abuse and swear they will never marry anyone.

In addition to these two, however, there is an interesting variety of peripheral personae whose different characters and situations called for a variety of musical moods and expressions - the sinister character of Don John, the dreamy romanticism of Claudio and Hero, the comic absurdity of Dogberry and his Watch, the dignity and spirit of Leonato.

Some po-faced purists might think that to turn a Shakespeare work into a musical is to trivialise it, while some may also feel that to tinker with his words is nothing short of literary sacrilege. I believe, however, that Shakespeare was essentially a populist playwright in his day and that one is therefore not departing from the Shakespearian tradition in attempting to make his work more widely accessible to a mass modern audience.

I have kept more or less to the original structure of the play and have tried to retain as much of the original prose as possible."


Principals (5m, 3f)
  Leonato - father of Hero and host to returning soldiers
  Don Pedro - leader of the victorious soldiers
  Beatrice - a headstrong young woman with a sarcastic disposition
  Hero - Leonato's daughter and friend of Beatrice
  Don John - Don Pedro's envious brother
  Benedick - a sharp-tongued match for Beatrice
  Claudio - romantic young idealist
  Ursula - friend of Hero and Beatrice
Support (9m, 1f, 1m/f  plus chorus)
  Messenger (usually male)
  Antonio, Conrade & Borachio - Conspirators with Don John
  Balthasar - a troubador
  Margaret - friend of Hero and Beatrice
  Dogberry - Officer of the Watch
  First Watch
  Friar Francis – a priest
  Chorus : Conspirators with Don John, Officers of the Watch, etc


  1) Victory Leonato & Chorus
  2) Disdain Beatrice & Benedick
  3) This Strange Affliction Called Love Benedick
  4) On An Angel's Wing Claudio
  5) Revenge Don John
  6) I'll Never Marry Beatrice
  7) Such Irony Claudio  Benedick
  8) The Sweetest Kiss Claudio, Hero & Chorus
  9) They Will Drive Each Other Mad! Leonato, Claudio & Don Pedro
10) Sigh No More, Good Ladies Balthasar & Chorus
11) Madness! Benedick
12) She’s Never Satisfied! Ursula & Hero
13) How Can This Be (Reprise) Beatrice
14) Look How He's Changed! Don Pedro, Leonato & Claudio
15) Deceived Claudio
16) The Officers Of The Watch Dogberry, Verges & The Watch
17) I’ll Never Love Again Claudio
~~ Interval ~~  
18) The World Is Brimming With Love Today Hero
19) Shame Claudio, Hero, Leonato & Don Pedro
20) It Cannot Be Beatrice, Leonato, Benedick & Friar
21) If Only I Were A Man Beatrice
22) Can You Forgive Me? Robert & Angela
23) Then Kill For Me! Beatrice & Benedick
24) Draw Your Sword! Leonato & Claudio
25) I'll Never Love Again (Reprise) Claudio
26) If I Could Write A Sonnet Benedick
27) Let Us Marry Beatrice, Benedick, Claudio & Hero
28) Finale (Reprise : ‘Brimming’) Company

Information for Production Administrators

Here's a list of all the supporting material available and some other information you might need. Pricing for the production materials is supplied automatically with a Perusal Set. Royalty pricing can only be provided as a formal quotation.

Available now (see below) ...
Preview Script/Libretto
You can download straightaway a shortened copy of the script/libretto to read and get a relatively good picture of whether you would like to proceed to the next step. The Preview E-Script is made available to you as a pdf file sized for A4 paper and contains just over half of the script.libretto.
Perusal Set
These are available for customers in European Union countries only to borrow free of charge (but you have to pay the postage to return the set to us). The set contains ...
  • Printed Libretto
  • Printed Piano/Vocal Score
  • Studio Recording CD Sampler
Available after Perusal ...
Libretti/Vocal Scores

Available to purchase in this form ...

  • Rehearsal Master Set on a Data CD (Cast). This contains the script and piano vocal score for your cast and crew provided as A4 pdf files. No problem about possible loss of deposit, as they are yours to print out and mark up as required. The price includes a multiple copying licence allowing you to copy the Data CD itself (enabling you to give or sell copies to your cast for them to make up their own rehearsal books) or to make multiple prints of the pdf's on the Data CD for your production company to organise and provide to your cast or crew.

To order this, create account with us, then go to the 'Ordering for Musicals' page

Please note that we do not sell printed copies of libretti, nor do we hire sets of printed rehearsal libretti or scores.

Available after Rights Obtained ...
Backing Tracks
For use in support of your rehearsal pianist.
These are available for an 12 piece orchestra as below, for hire to production companies only, who hold a valid, unexpired, licence to perform.
  • Bassoon
  • Cello
  • Clarinet/Oboe
  • Flute
  • Harp
  • Horn
  • Keyboard
  • Percussion
  • Trumpet
  • Violin 1
  • Violin 2
  • Bass
  • MD's Full Score
Royalty Type
Royalties for this title are 'variable fee, post paid', and will be calculated on a percentage of your box office income once your production has finished. See our pricing policy for details. We work on a quotation system for royalties, based on information you supply to us. Complete a printed application form or create account with us, and use the online version.
Video Licence
We have secured the rights to video productions of this title from the Author, and we manage them on his behalf. Once a 'Licence To Perform' has been granted, and then on payment of a fee, we will be able to issue a 'Licence To Record'. There are some strings attached to this, but these are far outweighed by the benefits.
  • Record one or more live performances and mix down to a single video
  • Give or sell copies to your cast and crew
  • Sell copies to your audiences (take advance bookings on the night)


Order your free preview script or perusal material now ...

  • Perusal Set
    £0.00 Perusal Set
    PLEASE NOTE : We operate a FREE Perusal Service, but due to the cost of postage/shipping, we regret that Perusal Sets are ONLY available to customers who reside in the United Kingdom (inc Channel Islands and Isle Of Man)...
  • Royalty Quotation Form
    £0.00 Royalty Quotation Form
    The rights to perform and record for all the titles in our catalogue (with exceptions) are managed by Stagescripts Ltd. A royalty fee must be paid: whether the play is presented for charity or for...