A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a play by William Shakespeare. Believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596, it portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors, who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play, categorized as a Comedy, is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.
“The course of true love never did run smooth.”
Hermia loves Lysander and Helena loves Demetrius – but Demetrius is supposed to be marrying Hermia… When the Duke of Athens tries to enforce the marriage, the lovers take refuge in the woods and wander into the midst of a dispute between the king and queen of the fairies.
Shakespeare put some of his most dazzling dramatic poetry at the service of this teasing, glittering, hilarious and amazingly inventive play, whose seriousness is only fleetingly glimpsed beneath its dreamlike surface.
Michelle Terry won the 2011 Olivier Award for her portrayal of Sylvia in Tribes (Royal Court). Michelle returns to the Globe having previously played the Princess of France in Love’s Labours Lost (2007).
This production will employ Renaissance costumes and staging.
Following its South Bank Show Award-winning productions of The Turn of the Screw and Peter Grimes, ENO continues to refresh its Britten repertoire with a new staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Magically mixing 20th-century modernism, rich romanticism and quasi-Purcellian fantasy, Britten’s score breathes a unique air all of its own, climaxing in a hilarious parody of Italian bel canto opera for the rude mechanicals’ play.
Mirroring the composer’s lifelong nostalgia for the lost innocence of childhood, Christopher Alden, the Olivier Award-winning director of Partenope and The Makropulos Case, transplants Shakespeare’s moonlit world of woods and fairies to the hormonal hothouse of a 1960s school. With Iestyn Davies (‘one of the most glorious countertenor voices in the world today’ The Independent) and stunning singing actress Sarah Tynan (who enraptured ENO audiences in The Elixir of Love in 2010) as Oberon and Tytania, this dream cast also features the great Jamaican-born bass-baritone Sir Willard White as Bottom.
Conductor Leo Hussain; Director Christopher Alden; Set Designer Charles Edwards; Costume Designer Sue Willmington; Lighting Designer Adam Silverman
Cast includes: Iestyn Davies (Oberon); Willard White (Bottom); Sarah Tynan (Tytania); Allan Clayton (Lysander); Benedict Nelson (Demetrius); Paul Whelan (Theseus); Kate Valentine (Helena); Tamara Gura (Hermia); Michael Colvin (Flute); Graeme Danby (Snug); Peter van Hulle (Snout); Simon Butteriss (Starveling)
Buy tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Coliseum Theatre!