A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Bell Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream Ella Prince as PuckFollowing its recent critically acclaimed season at the Sydney Opera House, Bell Shakespeare presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream, across Australia, touring to venues in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and ACT.

Love is in the air in Athens – and it’s contagious. Besides the royal wedding, which is just days away, there are young lovers dreaming of enchanted futures together. Hermia and Lysander are besotted with one another, while Helena adores Demetrius.

The only snag is that Demetrius loves Hermia – and he’s got Hermia’s father on his side. So nobody is happy.  Determined to be together, Hermia and Lysander meet in a moonlit forest, with plans to elope. Following hot on their heels is Demetrius, who in turn is pursued by a lovelorn Helena. But the young lovers are not alone in the forest.

Nick Bottom and his hapless bunch of tradies have gathered to rehearse a play to be performed at the royal wedding. And, hidden from human eyes, a mischievous sprinkling of fairies are also in the forest that night. The three worlds collide in an explosion of comic confusion that throws the future of all the lovers into jeopardy.

Acclaimed British-Australian actor Richard Pyros, who recently appeared in hit Hulu TV series The Great, will star as Oberon, alongside M?ori actor Matu Ngaropo as Bottom, known for his recent role as George Washington in the Australian version of the Broadway sensation Hamilton.

They join cast members Ahunim Abebe, who makes her mainstage theatre debut as Hermia, Isabel Burton (Helena), Mike Howlett (Demetrius), Ella Prince (Puck), Imogen Sage (Titania/Hippolyta/Quince) and Laurence Young (Lysander).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is very special to me, and whether you are revisiting an old friend in this play or are brand new to Shakespeare, it is a play to treasure,” said Peter Evans, Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare.

“We set a galloping pace as each of the three interwoven storylines play out, heightening the hilarity as misunderstandings lead to chaos. This truly is a play everyone can enjoy, and a great introduction to Shakespeare for the whole family.”

Evans focuses on the play within the play, looking at the illusion of theatre and performance itself, with the assistance of Movement Director Nigel Poulton. A highly physical production with eight actors playing multiple parts, audiences will be taken on a whirlwind journey.

Director: Peter Evans | Featuring: Ella Prince, Ahunim Abebe, Isabel Burton, Mike Howlett, Matu Ngaropo, Richard Pyros, Imogen Sage, Laurence Young | Associate Director: Julia Billington | Assistant Director: Dan Graham | Set and Costume Designer: Teresa Negroponte | Lighting Designer: Benjamin Cisterne | Composer and Sound Designer: Max Lyandvert | Fight and Intimacy Director: Nigel Poulton | Voice Coach: Jack Starkey-Gill | Dramaturg: James Evans

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is currently touring across Australia including the State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth (17 – 20 April), Arts Centre Melbourne (25 April – 11 May), Geelong Arts Centre (25 – 26 May) and Canberra Theatre Centre (7 – 15 June). For more information and full touring schedule, visit: www.bellshakespeare.com.au for details.

Image: Ella Prince stars as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream – courtesy of Bell Shakespeare