This summer will mark a quarter of a century of Shakespeare in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. To celebrate the 25th Anniversary, the Australian Shakespeare Company will remount A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the first play performed in 1988, that over the decades has proven to be Melbourne’s favourite Shakespeare under the stars.
Since the very first performance, an amazing array of talented actors have traipsed the boards under the trees in Glenn Elston’s Shakespeare adaptations. Guy Pearce played Lysander in 1993, Tim Minchin performed in Twelfth Night, and one of Australian television’s most loved personalities Kate Kendall played Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, while Nadine Garner playing the very first Juliet at the age of 20 in 1995.
The Australian Shakespeare Company have toured all over the country to places as remote as Annabangbang Billabong in Kakadu National Park, Weipa on Cape York, and was the first theatre company to tour to Thursday Island with a musical production of Much Ado About Nothing. In 2003, the company began working with Djilpin Arts to coproduce Walking with Spirits, a corroboree on the remote sacred site of Malkgulumbu (Beswick Falls) in the Northern Territory.
For summer 2013/2014 Glenn Elston will presents a brilliant new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring a dynamic young cast of lovers as well as the Australian Shakespeare Company’s troupe of talented regulars.
“You might think I’d be sick of it by now, but it has been truly amazing to spend over two decades of summers in Melbourne’s gardens making theatre with such an array of talented artists,” says Director Glenn Elston.
“I won’t say it hasn’t been trying at times, performing in Melbourne’s weather, up against wind, rain and fire, but we have always pulled through.”
“What makes it so fulfilling is to hear how our productions have become such treasured summer memories for our audiences and all those involved.”
This year, audiences will be transported to the world of the woods beyond Athens, a place of tangled loves, mistaken identity, mischievous faeries and magic-potions. Melburnians and visitors alike are invited into the magical world of The Dream, down the garden path into the faery glen where they will be enchanted by The Duke, Titania, Puck, Bottom and all their faery friends.
Who knows what could happen when the fairies cast their spells? You might even fall in love anew or maybe all over again…..
A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs from 21 December2013 to 15 March 2014. For more information, visit: www.shakespeareaustralia.com.au for details.
Image: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (courtesy of Australian Shakespeare Company)