BEATRICE AND BENEDICK by Marina Fiorato
MESSINA, SICILY 1588 – Beatrice of Villafranca is brought to live at the court of her uncle Leonato, to be a companion for his daughter Hero. That fateful summer the Spanish lordling Don Pedro visits for a month-long sojourn with his regiment. In his company is the young soldier Benedick of Padua. Benedick and Beatrice begin to wage their war of wit, but their words mask their true feelings and the two are soon deeply in love. But the pair are cruelly parted by misprision and slander. Benedick joins the ill-fated Armada under the command of his princely friend Don Pedro, while Beatrice returns to her Villafranca home, and an unwanted betrothal to the Veronese count Paris. Benedick must fight for his life while Beatrice fights for her freedom; oceans apart, the lovers begin their year-long odyssey back to Messina and each other.
In their separate voices we hear Beatrice and Benedick tell their stories in their own words, taking us on a journey that travels from the sunlit southern courts of Sicily, to the crippled Armada on the frozen northern seas, to the gorgeous Renaissance cities of the Veneto.
BEATRICE AND BENEDICK tells the tale of Shakespeare’s most appealing lovers and why they were destined to be apart before they could be together.