A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
by William Shakespeare
Incidental Music by Felix Mendelssohn
Royal Shakespeare Company
City of London Sinfonia
Barbican Hall, Barbican Centre, London
20 March 2001
Cast & Crew
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a classic and much loved text by William Shakespeare. Written around the late 1500s, like most Shakespearean texts, A Midsummer Night’s Dream stands the test of time; the narrative is almost timeless and it is still performed regularly to this day.
The story is about four Athenian “lovers” who are all in love with one another; Hermia and Lysander are in love but Hermia’s farther, Egeus, wants her to marry Demetrius who also loves her. Left behind is poor Helena, who has a deep and unrequited love for Demetrius. As Hermia and Lysander run away together to a nearby forest on the eve of a big Athenian wedding between Theseus and Hippolyta. Demetrius follows the object of his affection, as does Helena.
Chaos ensues as the escaped lovers are set upon by magical forces dwelling in the woods. As a result of a magic potion, the lovers fall for different women.
Also affected by the mischevious woodland spirits are “the Mechanicals”, labourers from Athens who are practicing a play for the royal Athenian wedding.
Hilarity, sexuality and desire are key themes in this whimsical text by Shakespeare.
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