The spectacular scenery of the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno, Cornwall, will be this summer the stage for “Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare, that participants into our August camp will be delighted to see!
John Platt, drama teacher in Dartington, briefly introduces the event in this article.
“Shakespeare was born on St Georges day (the patron saint of England) on the 23rd of April 1564 and he died on the same day (23rd of April) in 1616!
This is one of his earlier plays written to celebrate a wedding at the court of Queen Elizabeth the 1st. It has four stories woven into one: the plot revolves around the marriage of King Theseus, Duke of Athens to the captured queen of the amazons, Hippolyta.
The nature of the four characters also fall into four types: the courtiers, the lovers, the tradesmen and the fairy folk.
Theseus and Hippolyta head the court, the lovers… two young men in love with the same woman Hermia (Lysander and Demetrius). However another young woman Helena is in love with Demetrius and Hermia is in love with Lysander.
They all run away from court into an enchanted forest and are completely confused by the fairy folk living there (led by Oberon the King of the fairies).
Oberon tricks everyone, including his wife Titania who ends up in love with Bottom the weaver. He has come into the forest with his fellow tradesmen to rehearse an entertainment for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta.
The play is very much a young play-writer’s view of the trials and tribulations of falling in love… a “fun” and funny play , full of beautiful Shakespearean language …
Look out for:
* Puck, a mischievous fairy directed by Oberon to cause havoc in the woods… * the lovers, passion and confusion… * The tradesmen’s eagerness to please with their entertainment… * Tiania, falling in love with an ass! * then the wedding, entertainment and resolve.
All adding to the unique experience of the spectacular outdoor amphitheatre perched on the cliffs of the Cornish Coast!”