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MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING

SYNOPSIS:
Documentary maker Michael Rubbo investigates the proposition that William Shakespeare's works were in fact written by another author. Interviews with Shakespeare scholars and those who contend that Christopher Marlowe was the hidden hand of the Bard leads Rubbo to discover fresh evidence and come to  his own startling conclusion.


Review by Richard Kuipers:
Much Ado About Something is the The Thin Blue Line of literary-themed documentaries. Rubbo's film is an utterly compelling 'who wrote it' in which the reputation of the most famous author who ever lived comes into question. Rubbo, who narrates with breathless excitement, meets a wonderful cast of characters whose arguments range from the crackpot to the highly persuasive. 

His starting point is the life-long obsession of American Calvin Hoffman who believed Marlowe to be the 'real' Shakespeare and went as far as opening a tomb in a Kent church to prove his point. Hoffman died in the late 80s but his argument lives on in a pro-Marlowe society headed by octogenarian Dolly Walker Wraight and staffed by a collection of eccentrics in the finest British tradition. Structured with great dramatic skill, Rubbo gives Shakespeare's life the third degree while slowly building up a case for Marlowe, should he emerge as a genuine candidate to solve the mystery. The big flaw in the Marlowe position is his reported death in 1593 - the same year in which Shakespeare first made his mark - but that merely spurs Rubbo on.

This is documentary- making at its best, with a director able to win the confidence of everyone he meets, including Globe Theatre artistic director Mark Rylance who turns out to be a doubter and says 'it has to be an open question'. Depending on your opinion you may consider the matter closed once Rubbo heads to a long forgotten archive and reveals some astonishing information linked to a mystery far too tantalising to be the stuff of fiction. Hats off also to Rubbo for playing picture show man and exhibiting this film himself. It's amazing to think that no commercial theatrical exhibitor wanted to screen this despite the efforts of Rubbo and others to secure venues for this award winning, world class piece of work.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

MIKE RUBBO INTERVIEW by Andrew L. Urban

MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING (No Classification)
PRODUCER: Michael Rubbo and Penelope McDonald. Produced by The Helpful Eye in association with Chili Films
DIRECTOR: Mike Rubbo
RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Chili Films
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Various dates & venues:

September 2002, Sydney:
11 – 13: Mosman Art Gallery
16: Sydney University
19: NSW Writer’s Centre
23: Figtree Theatre
24, 25: Manly Art Gallery
27, 28: Bondi Pavilion Theatre
30: Kuringai Town Hall

October 2002, Sydney:
1: Kuringai Town Hall
2, 3: Paddington (venue tba)
10: Gleebooks
12 & 13: Vaucluse Bowling Club
Tickets and info:
02 4382 1866 or 0408 721 867







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