During our last Anthos Young Company project we explored one of William Shakespeare’s well known comedies A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In the initial weeks we delved into the world of the play and explored the various groups entwined within the story.
First the Mechanicals a group of would be actors desperate to put on a play. Peter Quince tries desperately to organize the troop but Nick Bottom decides that he is the greatest actor and he has some rather unusual ideas about acting.
Throughout the course of the project each of our actors explored their characters, the history of the play and the comedy within the text. They all worked incredibly hard and were a wonder to work with and I’m sure we can expect great things from them in the future!
Next we have the fairies. We explored the physicality and the magic of these supernatural beings. Oberon King of the fairies represents the element of earth he is strong and in command his wife Titania the spirit of air argues with him and Oberon goes to drastic lengths to win the argument. He calls in his servant Puck who represents the element of fire. He is always moving and causing mischief. Puck after harassing Titania’s servant Cobweb brings Oberon a flower laced with love magic.
After exploring the magic fairies we looked at the third group in this play. The people of the court are involved in a world of high stakes and social rules. Hermia refuses her father’s choice of husband for her Demetrius and instead loves Lysander. Hermia and Lysander flee into the woods. However Hermia’s best friend Helena is in love with Demetrius. She reveals to him that they have fled and all the lovers end up lost in the magical forest.
Our play took place in a not too distant future. Due to the outbreak of war and disease separate states had created their own harsh laws. Theseus a military dictator has taken control over Athens he enforces strict law over his subjects. Lysander is a rebel and wants to break free from the tyranny of Theseus’ control. Hermia and Lysander reject Theseus and flee into the forest closely followed by the militaristic Demetrius and the love-struck Helena.
The fairies also took different roles in our interpretation with each of them being a mixture of representing natural and non-natural materials.
Directors: Ben Goulding, Madeline Allardice.
Assistant Director- Jake Celecia
Set/Costume Designer- Kat Child
Stage Manager- James Bush
We would like to say a massive thank you to Madeline Allardice for making the project possible (her initiative kickstarted something really amazing).
We would also like to thank everyone at Exeter Community Centre for their support thorughout the project, as well as the staff at the Exeter Phoenix for their technical support before, during and after the performance.
Finally, a big thank you to Exeter Drama Department for their universal support on the project. A special 'special' thank you to Jon Primrose for providing incredible support (emotional and technical) on the project and for both of our performances.