Tomahawk's new production of Much Ado About Nothing is further proof, if any were needed, that it was Shakespeare, not Jane Austen, who originated the genre now known as romantic comedy.

Returning from war to their home in Messina, two contrasting love-starved heroes, the endearingly naïve Claudio (Tom Bateman) and the cynical Benedick (Alex Nicholls) set about making up for lost time in the battlefields of love. However, love's path was never an easy one. Everybody can see that Benedick is infatuated with Beatrice (Clare Denton); everybody, that is, aside from the couple themselves. More worryingly, nobody can see that the dastardly Don John (Joseph Adams) is intent on destroying Claudio's burgeoning relationship with the Governor's daughter Hero (Natalie McCormack). It falls to a charmingly shambolic leader of the local watch Dogberry (played by the play's director Ali Nunn) to save the day and let love take its true course.

Ali Nunn's production is at its strongest when the play is at its most comic and deceptively throwaway. He lets the language speak for itself in a simple, bright and airy set. He illustrates proceedings with dance sequences, the occasional burst of song and a Cole Porter-style light jazz soundtrack. Above all, the production remains a testament to Shakespeare's presentation of an endearingly positive world where the emotional truth will always come out. It's a play about the positive influence of friendship and good intentions that influence the lives of other people for the better.

The text's key pleasure is the quick-fire exchanges shared between Beatrice and Benedick, and it's captured with a surprising freshness here. Nicholls's Benedick is an expressive, wiry and melancholically jaded figure, who clearly relishes testing the wits of the guarded, yet warm, figure of Denton's Beatrice. The two actors make you realise how irreverent the play can be; love is something that Shakespeare takes off its pedestal and puts it under his spotlight. The same can be said of organised authority; Nunn's scene-stealing Dogberry clearly highlights how pompous the likes of the army's commander Don Pedro (played with gusto by Edward Blagrove) can be.

The joy of Nunn's production is that it reminds us of how relevant and accessible Shakespeare can be if it's played well. Too many semi-amateur productions have actors either simply reciting or shouting their lines, making the Bard's poetry feel stilted, rather than beautifully crafted and lived-in. Although occasionally guilty of that, this adaptation feels heartfelt, and therefore was truly heart-warming. The play runs until tomorrow night at the OFS studio.