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Shakespeare classic given a 50's Richmond twist
2 Nov 2 , 2022 Wednesday

Shakespeare classic given a 50's Richmond twist

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Richmond Amateur Dramatic Society’s latest production transports the Shakespearean classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the traditional setting of Athens to 1950’s ‘Richmondia’.

Shakespeare’s most performed play is set across two worlds – the court of Athens (in a traditional production) and a mystical forest that lies beyond the city’s walls.

The plot is fantastical. Four young lovers run away only to have fairy Puck make both boys fall in love with the same girl. They pursue each other through the forest while Puck helps his master Oberon play a trick on the fairy queen, Titania. Meanwhile, the ‘rude mechanicals', a group of amateur and mostly incompetent actors, are rehearsing - hoping their production is chosen as the courtly entertainment for the noble wedding celebrations of Theseus and Hippolyta. As these groups and worlds collide, mischief, humour and love all play a part in the tangled story.

“RADS have only done nine Shakespeare plays in its 88-year history, and I felt it was high time we did another one,” said Director, Jim Brown. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a romantic comedy with interspersed laughs and a moral that will make you ponder what it means ‘to be in love’. It was written around 1595 but - to me - it still conveys a strong message of enduring thoughts and, of course, humour. The language can often be a challenge for both actors and audiences, but Shakespeare’s English is only about 10% different to modern English.

“My approach to watching and understanding Shakespeare is to “let it wash over you” – you will soon get the rhythm, the meaning - and the enjoyment,” he added.  

A Midsummer Night’s Dream performs at the Georgian Theatre Royal from the 10-12 November at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available from the theatre box office on 01748 825252 or online at www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk

RADS perform three shows a year and prospective members for acting or backstage are always welcome. For further information about upcoming shows and events please contact Gregan at secretary@richmond-ads.org.uk

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