A Midsummer Night's Dream

Adapted by Will Jessop from Shakespeare's original text

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In a fresh adaptation of Shakespeare’s text, Blue Apple’s Midsummer Night’s Dream has all the usual ingredients – lovers, kings and queens, fantastical beings, official wedding documentary film crew…

Come and celebrate the wedding of Theo and Hippo; marvel at how much of an ass Bottom can make of himself; watch lovers falling in and out of love like there’s no tomorrow; and lose yourself in an enchanted forest.

Performed inside and out, Blue Apple’s Midsummer Night’s Dream is a promenade performance.


We’ve taken many liberties

The trees standing bare and the daylight gone by 5.00 o’clock. All in all quite an interesting notion at that time, selling the idea to the company of a show performed, at least partly, outdoors.

Then there was always the Shakespeare bit and the need to convince everyone that a story, written over 400 years ago, in Elizabethan English, could somehow be made relevant both to the company and to the audience that would come to watch it. Certainly a few people were of the immediate opinion that ‘Shakespeare’s boring’ and, while we never intended playing the show as originally written, the challenge became very much that of finding a way of telling the story that gave the company ownership.

In large part the language had to change and the story be pared down but it’s a great thing about Midsummer Night’s Dream that the essential plot is both wonderfully simple and very well plotted at one and the same time. It’s also full of magnificent, magical invention and ridiculous humour (naming a character ‘Bottom’ is as good for a laugh in the 21st century as in the 17th). It also offers the opportunity to explore three very different worlds within the one play.

So we took all these things and, with the writer Will Jessop and the designer, Su Houser, began to devise and improvise around the central themes and the production, in and around The Tower, started to take shape.

Undeniably along the way we’ve taken many liberties – but none to my mind, that go against the essence of Shakespeare’s text. There’s slightly different sillinesses, and slightly different beauties, but the mixture of ingredients remains roughly the same. I think if Shakespeare could pop in to a performance he’d really quite enjoy it; and he’d recognise some of his own text in there as well!

The company, throughout the whole journey of putting the show together have been magnificent. A lot of work, much concentration and a great deal of good humour. Equally fantastic has been the whole production team but, in particular, Su and Will deserve special mention for their great imagination and beautiful solutions to each and every problem thrown at them. I’d also like to extend the thanks of the whole company to Ben and all the staff at The Tower and to Kings School for their wholehearted support of the project.

‘If we shadows have offended...’

Peter Clerke
Artistic Director


Cast & Crew

Theseus - James Elsworthy
Hippolyta - Anna Brisbane
Hermia - Ros Davis
Helena - Atosa Moossari
Lysander - Laurie Morris
Demetrius - Mike Weldon
Quince (Director) - Simon Harvey
Bottom (God) - Tommy Jessop
Stan (Adam) - Stuart Carney
Snout (Snake) - Elena Moody
Snug (Intro) - Joanne Frangos
Flute (Tree) - Lucy Parrott
Starling (Eve) - Jossie Kirby
Skiver - Clare Brown
Oberon - Shane Nickisson
Puck - James Smith
Titania - Amy Britt
Flower - Lisa Collins
Fawn - Rachel Osborne
Tooth - Alice Peck
Mustard - Jason Kidd
Pea - Emma Rabjohn
Cobweb - Daniel Austin
Moth - Polly Troup
Willow - April Woodburn
Clover - Jess Clark
Host - Andrew Malster
Camera - Andy Cogan
Director - Neil White
Key Grip - Chris Pearce
Make Up - Hannah Young
Chauffeur - Amy Rann
Music - Susan Morris / Heather Thorpe

Direction - Peter Clerke
Script - Will Jessop
Design - Su Houser
Production Manager - Simon Plumridge
Technical Manager - David Wallace
Costume - Maryanna Rann
Lighting Design - Mark Dimmock
Design Assistant - Tom Houser
Design Assistant - Clare Crombie
Props Costume Maker - Anna Houser
Print Design - Richard Williams



Reviews


Tour

Tuesday 22nd – Thursday 24th June 2010 7.45pm
The Tower Arts Centre, Winchester