Much Ado About Nothing (1598–1599)
First official record: version of the play published in 1600 (this play was never entered into the Stationers' Register)
First published: Much adoe about Nothing was published in quarto in 1600
Evidence: The play was not included in Francis Meres' Palladis Tamia, which was registered on 7 September 1598, suggesting it hadn't been performed prior to that date. Furthermore, evidence in the quarto text suggests that Shakespeare originally wrote the role of Dogberry for William Kempe, however, records indicate that Kempe left the Lord Chamberlain's Men sometime in late 1598, so the play must have been written before then. As such, it was most likely composed sometime in the latter half of 1598 and was certainly completed before the new year.
SCENE I. BEFORE LEONATO'S HOUSE.
Enter LEONATO, HERO, and BEATRICE, with a Messenger