In conversation - A Midsummer Night's Dream

At the Lyric, Hammersmith last week, three directors of A Midsummer Night's Dream discussed why this play is so appealing and cherished as one of Shakespeare's best-loved comedies.

Monday 14 March 2016

Directors - Shakespeare - Talks

With the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death only days away now there's a lot on offer in terms of the Bard's works.

Check here for all Shakespeare's plays being presented in London this year as well as shows related to Shakespeare and his work.

Three productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream are being presented by Shakespeare's Globe, the RSC (in a tour, at Stratford and the Barbican) and the Lyric Hammersmith (this show is currently in full-swing and continues to 19 March).

Last Thursday (10 March 2016), I trekked over to the Lyric where the directors of these productions discussed why The Dream is still so popular and how they are tackling it.

The panel included the new Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe, Emma Rice, the Deputy Artistic Director of the RSC, Erica Whyman, and the Artistic Director of nabokov and Co-Director of the Lyric and Filter's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Stef O'Driscoll.

The discussion was chaired by the Lyric's Senior Producer Imogen Kinchin.


If you're unfamiliar with the play, here's a summary from the upcoming version at Shakespeare's Globe ...

The woods outside Athens are a busy place on this magical night!

Four runaway lovers find themselves smack bang in the middle of a dispute between the King and Queen of the fairies, and, as if that wasn’t enough, a troupe of amateur actors are trying to rehearse a play.

Between these unlikely groups flies Puck, armed only with a wicked sense of humour and a love potion capable of making anyone fall for the first person they set eyes upon.

Now, I was going to write a blog about what was said during the discussion, but I'm afraid I was delayed with other work, and by the time I found the necessary time to complete it, I discovered the recording of the event was already available.

So, now you have chance to view the whole thing ... see what you make of it.

What I will say is that this was a fascinating discussion with three immensely talented directors.

And it's certainly worth watching out for other events like this in the future at the Lyric.

Peter Brown


Lyric Hammermsith - A Midsummer Night's Dream (until 19th March)

Shakespeare's Gobe - A Midsummer Night's Dream (30 April to 11 September)

A play for the Nation - RSC's Dream on tour

Wikipedia - A Midsummer Night's Dream

Our Shakespeare400 page

Shakespeare400 website

Wonder Season - Shakespeare's Globe

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