Bell Shakespeare has announced the cast for their upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – travelling to 26 venues across Australia in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania and Queensland between July and November this year.
One of Shakespeare’s most loved plays, this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Bell Shakespeare Artistic Director Peter Evans, will depart on an extensive national tour, debuting at Orange Civic Theatre on Friday 2 July 2021.
The production will then travel to far corners across the country including Arts Centre Melbourne (14 – 24 July), BREC in Bunbury (31 July), Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs (4 September) and Mackay Entertainment Centre (9 September), before finishing at the Sydney Opera House (14 October – 7 November).
As the company’s first national tour in more than a year due to COVID-19, this will bring Shakespeare’s classic comedy filled with magic and mirth to audiences all over Australia and reflects the company’s ethos of providing all Australians with access to Shakespeare.
Jane Montgomery Griffiths will star as Bottom and Egeus, and Ella Prince will put her spin on the mischievous Puck. The four lovers will be portrayed by Michael C. Howlett (Demetrius), Abbie-lee Lewis (Hermia), Gabrielle Scawthorn (Helena) and Jacob Warner (Lysander).
Artistic Director of Yirra Yaakin Theatre Kyle Morrison appears as Oberon and Theseus alongside Imogen Page as Titania and Hippolyta. Evans’ fresh approach 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 through the magic, mayhem and romance of this story.
“As Australia’s national theatre company, we cannot wait to return to touring and couldn’t think of a better play than A Midsummer Night’s Dream to really celebrate the joy and magic of live theatre,” said Peter Evans, Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare.
“It’s always a thrill to travel to audiences across the country and it’s a privilege to be sharing this production with Australians in 2021.”
Originally performed in 2014, this production brings back original cast member Janine Watson as Assistant Director and original Designer Teresa Negroponte also returns to recreate the magic of the play in each venue. Other creatives include Aleisa Jelbart (Associate Designer), Benjamin Cisterne (Lighting Designer), Max Lyandvert (Composer & Sound Designer) and Jess Chambers (Voice & Text Coach).
One of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream deals with the universal theme of love as well as darker themes of lust, confusion and disappointment. It follows the adventures of four star-crossed lovers (Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and Demetrius), a disgruntled father, a duke and duchess, woodland fairies (Oberon and Titania) and a mischievous fairy servant (Puck).
Taking place in a mythical Athens and an enchanted forest outside its walls, an additional satirical tale introduces another set of characters; a group of amateur actors known as The Mechanicals – who stumble into the same mystical woods to rehearse a play called Pyramus and Thisbe.
“A joyous mix of the romantic, the poetic and the making of mirth” – Canberra Times
Director: Peter Evans Featuring: Michael C. Howlett, Abbie-lee Lewis, Jane Montgomery Griffiths, Kyle Morrison, Ella Prince, Imogen Sage, Gabrielle Scawthorn, Jacob Warner Assistant Director: Janine Watson Designer: Teresa Negroponte Associate Designer: Aleisa Jelbart Lighting Designer: Benjamin Cisterne Composer & Sound Designer: Max Lyandvert Movement Director: Nigel Poulton Voice & Text Coach: Jess Chambers Dramaturg: James Evans
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will commence playing at the Orange Civic Theatre on Friday 2 July 2021, before embarking on a national tour across Australia. For more information, including venues and performances dates, visit: www.bellshakespeare.com.au for details.
Image: Abbie-lee Lewis, Kyle Morrison and Jane Montgomery Griffiths to feature in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (supplied)