"The world must be peopled"

Theatre There isn't much to add to this excellent investigation into "the darkness at the heart" of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, but I just wanted to highlight this description of a famous moment in John Barton's 1976 RSC production which I've never seen captured with such clarity before:
"Audiences remember how (Donald Sinden) would sometimes perform the whole of his soliloquy at the end of the second act – in which Benedick, tricked into believing Beatrice loves him, gradually abandons his former opposition to marriage – as though remonstrating with increasing vehemence with a single chosen spectator in the stalls. He would make a tremendous, emphatically nodding climax of the line "The world must be peopled", as though this were a clinching riposte with which to convince his obdurate opponent, and would then stomp triumphantly off – only to return a moment later, visibly calming himself, to offer the same spectator amends with a placatory, face-saving "When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I would live till I were married". Dench recalls finding Sinden so funny and so perpetually unexpected that she would sometimes be laughing too much to make her ensuing entrance."
 For years I just thought Sinden was just that bloke from Never The Twain.  How wrong I was.

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