A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Written by William Shakespeare
Performed in English
1985–1986

The King and Queen of the Fairies are at war. Oberon believes that Titania’s changeling child should belong to him. He sends the clever and mischievous Puck to play tricks on Titania to win the child. Four Athenian lovers have stolen into the forest on Midsummer’s night and become unwittingly wrapped up in the world of the immortal.

The forest is full of fairies and sprites, who, invisible to the humans, marvel at the foolishness of the quarrelling young lovers.  

Meanwhile, Bottom and his fellow Mechanicals sneak into the forest to rehearse their play to be performed at the wedding of the king Theseus and his new queen Hippolyta.

In this dream-like forest, the lives of the mortal and the immortal merge to create an enchanting world of love, magic, and misunderstanding.  

Produced by Cheek by Jowl. The first performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was at Northcott Theatre, Exeter on 19th February 1985.

“Declan Donnellan directs a uniformly excellent cast at a cracking pace in an often hilarious and always lively and imaginative production.”

Time Out
Cast and creative team

Cast

NameCharacter
Anne WhiteHippolyta/Titania
Duncan BellTheseus/Oberon
David GillespiePhilostrate/Puck
Saskia ReevesHermia
Simon DormandyEgeus/Mr. (Reverend) Bottom
Martin TurnerLysander
Colin WakefieldDemetrius
Claire VousdenHelena
Steph BramwellMiss Quince
Leda HodgsonMiss Flute

Creative Team

RoleName
DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Lighting DesignerNick Kidd
ChoreographerSara van Beers
Voice CoachPatsy Rodenburg
Previous performances

Previous Performances

Date (first performance)LocationNo. of performances
27 May 1986London, Donmar Warehouse, UK32
16 May 1986Recife, Teatro Santa Isobel, Brazil3
12 May 1986Brazilia, Teatro Nacional, Brazil2
5 May 1986Rio de Janeiro, Teatro Villa Lobos, Brazil2
2 May 1986Sao Paulo, Teatro Sergio Cardoso, Brazil3
29 April 1986Porto Alegre, Teatro San Pedro, Brazil2
19 April 1986Montevideo, Millington Drake Theatre, Uruguay3
17 March 1986London, Donmar Warehouse, UK14
3 March 1986Bombay, Sophia Bhabha Hall, India6
28 February 1986Banalore, Chowdish Hall, India4
23 February 1986Madras, Music Academy, India4
19 February 1986Calcutta, Kala Mandir Theatre, India5
14 February 1986Delhi, Sri Ram Centre, India5
10 February 1986Khatmandu, Royal Nepal Academy, Nepal3
7 February 1986Dhaka, Shilpakala Academy, Bangladesh2
2 February 1986Colombo, Navarangahala Theatre, Sri Lanka4
31 January 1986Kandy, Trinity College, Sri Lanka2
27 January 1986Karachi, Hashoo Auditorium, Pakistan4
22 January 1986Lahore, Alhamra Arts Centre, Pakistan4
18 January 1986Islamabad, College for Girls, Pakistan3
17 January 1986Peshawar, Edwardes College, Pakistan2
10 January 1986Barcelona, Regina Theatre, Spain4
6 January 1986Strasbourg, Theatre Le Maillon, France3
7 December 1985Wallingford, Corn Exchange, UK1
2 December 1985Tewkesbury, Roses Theatre, UK1
27 November 1985Oswestry, College, UK2
22 November 1985Burton Upon Trent, Technical College, UK1
19 November 1985Lichfield, Civic Hall, UK2
18 November 1985Bridgnorth, Theatre on the Steps, UK1
12 November 1985Hull, Spring Street Theatre, UK5
8 November 1985Newtown, Theatr Halfren, UK1
7 November 1985Builth Wells, Wyeside Arts Centre, UK1
4 November 1985Leighton Buzzard, Vandyke Upper School, UK1
30 October 1985Louth, Monk’s Dyke School, UK1
29 October 1985Cleethorpe, Lindsey School, UK1
25 October 1985Lowestoft, Seagull Theatre, UK1
23 October 1985Sudbury, Quay Theatre, UK1
21 October 1985Ipswich, Wolsey Theatre, UK2
16 October 1985Wells, Wells Centre, UK3
14 October 1985Norwich, University of East Anglia, KU1
9 October 1985Norwich, Premises, UK3
5 October 1985Aylesbury, Limelight Theatre, UK1
4 October 1985Thame, Sport and Arts Centre, UK1
2 October 1985Luton, Library Theatre, UK1
30 September 1985Milton Keynes, Stantonbury Theatre, UK1
27 September 1985Hemel Hempstead, Old Town Hall, UK2
14 September 1985Bourne End, Deyncourt Schoot, UK1
7 August 1985Bronte, Castella di Bronte, Italy1
4 August 1985Taormina, Villa Communale, Italy3
31 July 1985Bolton, Octagon, UK3
27 April 1985Alexandria, Lycee Horreya, Egypt1
23 April 1985Cairo, Goumhureya Theatre, Egypt2
18 April 1985Richmond, Georgian Theatre, UK3
2 April 1985Preston, Charter Theatre, UK5
28 March 1985Basildon, Towngate Theatre, UK3
22 March 1985King’s Lynn, Fermoy Centre, UK3
22 March 1985Bury St Edmunds, Theatre Royal, UK3
15 March 1985Eastbourne, Tivoli Arts Centre, UK2
7 March 1985Oundle, Stahl Theatre, UK3
4 March 1985Llantwit Major, St Donats Arts Centre, UK2
28 February 1985Carlisle, Stanwix Arts Theatre, UK2
25 February 1985Bedford, Bedford School Theatre, UK1
19 February 1985Exeter, Northcott Theatre, UK5
Awards and reviews

Awards

Laurence Olivier Award nomination

1986 – Comedy of the Year – Midsummer Night’s Dream

Reviews

“A dream of a Dream…an exploration of theatrical skills, an analysis of the theatrical qualities of live drama, an essay in spell binding.”

The Guardian

“Declan Donnellan directs a uniformly excellent cast at a cracking pace in an often hilarious and always lively and imaginative production.”

Time Out
Production photo
Photograph: Peter Mares
Production photo
Photograph: Peter Mares

“A dream of a Dream…an exploration of theatrical skills, an analysis of the theatrical qualities of live drama, an essay in spell binding.”

The Guardian

The course of true love never did run smooth.

Act I, scene i

The actors are at hand, and by their show, You shall know all that you are like to know.

Act V, scene i

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