Caldbeck Players

 

A Midsummer Nights Dream

Synopsis

A lively musical interpretation of a Midsummer Night’s Dream containing all of the characters, plots and sub-plots that appear in the William Shakespeare original.    
Set in Athens against a background of a Royal Wedding the play tells three interweaving stories: four young friends are involved in a dispute concerning an arranged marriage; six working men rehearse their play to be performed at the Royal Wedding Feast; and the King and Queen of Fairyland’s constant arguing has upset the balance of the mortal world. 
Puck the mischievous hobgoblin stirs these ingredients to make midsummer madness in the woods – or is it all a Dream?. 

 
 

A Midsummer Nights Dream

Review

Shakespeare 4 Kidz is the trademark title of productions by writers Julian Chenery and Matt Gimblett who have taken the pain out of Shakespeare and made it fun for the young. And at the same time they have made it fun for the many old heathens like me who glaze over when someone suggests a Shakespeare play. The language be modern, the plots are easy on the brain and whole's mixed with catchy music. 

Caldbeck Players production of A Midsummer Nights Dream was staged by 28 of the local community aged between 6 and 14, and it was great. 

Theseus the Duke of Athens (Samantha Bell) is to marry his bird Hippolyta the Queen of the Amazons (Amy Robinson) - in itself unlikely as the Amazons did not take to men kindly, but this play is a Dream. 

Athenian Peter Quince (Beverley Noble) likes the Am. Dram. He wants to produce a play he hopes will be chosen to be performed at the royal wedding, so he collects up a few local characters to take the parts, just as Joyce Woodcock did in putting this excellent production on The Robson girls Beth and Rosie play the Wall with an infectious giggle, through whom the lovers Pyramus and Thisbe spy each other, and the Moon who can sing in tune, or so she said, as they all did in their song What a Play What a Celebration. Snug is a quiet lion (Ross Macfadzean) and Flute (Joseph Horne) gets the girl's part of Thisbe even though he protests his beard is starting. Bottom (Kieran Macfadzean) reckons he could do all the parts (as he showed he could) but settles for the lead as Pyramus. Though turned by the impish Puck into an ass, and becoming the fancy of Titania (Phoebe Harding) Pyramus later (when staging the play at the said wedding) took his own life with great aplomb, as did the well played Thisbe. 

Eyedrops were the feature of the other half of the play. One drop administered when asleep made you get the hots for the first of the opposite sex eyed on awaking. Egeus (Ellen Regan) is twining to Theseus that his daughter Hermia (Sarah Atkinson) wont marry her fathers choice Demetrius (Edward Pattinson) 'cos she cant stick him and she is in love with Lysander, with whom she then elopes. But when Lysander (Cameron Cullen) has a zizz Puck administers the drop (to the wrong guy) and he wakes to see Helena (Hannah Stobart), so that leaves Hermia dumped. Credit goes to the hot and cold lovers for their puppet strumpet/painted maypole quartet, and to the excellent accompaniment thoughout of Lorraine Gash. Though Demetrius can't remember which bird he wants to bag it all works out well as new drops cure the problem, and each guy gets his right girl. 

Puck (Toby Collard) was brilliant as narrator and imp and jester to Oberon (Matthew Horne). Oberon lord to fairy Titania (the ass fancier) worryingly wanted an Indian boy (Arran Horne) whom Titania cosseted in song, with a good promising voice. Her eight well rehearsed fairies fluttered and flapped and sang with her well. 

The confidence timing and stage presence of the whole cast was a credit to Joyce Woodcock and her co- producers. The costumes were really good (courtesy of Fiona Cox and team). Oberon's headdress would grace any Christmas table as a centrepiece. 

And the next generation is on the boards. I watched the play next to a pretty old greying Caldbeck Player grandfather who would have been pushed to even understudy his eldest grandsons performance. And I guess he was rightly chuffed, as all parents and indeed all in this community should be, at a really fun play well done. What a Play What a Celebration

Copyright © Caldbeck Players 2006. E&OE