A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM
07/12/2017 - 27/02/2018
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind…”
Justly regarded as Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream enchants audiences with a brilliant mix of hilarious comedy and beautiful poetry. See Pop-up Globe’s all-male Buckingham’s Company in beautiful bespoke costumes transport you to an enchanted world where anything is possible and nothing is what it seems.
Pop-up Globe’s resident company present Shakespeare’s magical comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Justly regarded as Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece, A Midsummer Night’s Dream enchants audiences with a brilliant mix of hilarious comedy and beautiful poetry. This new production, directed by Pop-up Globe’s Artistic Director and founder Dr Miles Gregory, fuses spectacular Jacobean costumes with Maori folklore to create our flagship production for the 2017/18 Pop-up Globe season.
Oppressed by a brutal dictatorship, four lovers escape a death sentence by fleeing to an ancient forest. Elsewhere in the woods, a group of tradies secretly meet to indulge their love of amateur drama. But there’re more than just trees in this forest. Ancient creatures of myth and legend haunt the dark corners of the woods, and they love nothing more than causing trouble…
Based on the performance tradition of 1614, the Buckingham’s Company are Pop-up Globe’s resident all-male company of actors and musicians, drawn from around the world. Working with international theatre experts and creatives, they will transport you four hundred years into the past for the extraordinary experience of seeing Shakespeare’s plays performed in the space for which they were written.
Pop-up Globe Auckland, 80 Ascot Avenue, Ellerslie, Auckland
7 December 2017 – 27 February 2018
7.12.17 – 7:30pm (opening night)
8.12.17 – 7.30pm
9.12.17 – 8pm
10.12.17 – 1:30pm & 7:00pm
16.12.17 – 1:30pm & 7:30pm
17.12.17 – 7:00pm
21.12.17 – 7:30pm
22.12.17 – 7:30pm
23.12.17 – 1:30pm & 7:30pm
Platinum – $199.00
A Reserve – $129.00
B Reserve – $99.00
C Reserve – $69.00
D Reserve – $49.00
Groundlings – $10.00
Pop-up Globe Buckingham’s Company
Cameron Moore: Starveling
Edward Peni: Hippolyta, Titiana
Jason Te Kare: Oberon, Theseus
Josh Cramond: Snug
Kevin Keys: Snout
Max Loban: Hermia
Mike Edward: Bottom
Patrick Carroll: Demetrius
Patrick Griffin: Flute
Peter Daubé: Egeus, Quince
Reuben Butler: Puck, Philostrate
Thomas Wingfield: Helena
Will Alexander: Lysander
Enchanting entertainment for a midsummer night
Review by Dione Joseph 11th Dec 2017
Arguably William Shakespeare’s most famous comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the perfect primer for summer theatre in Aotearoa.
Packed with thwarted lovers fleeing city boundaries, woodland faeries engaging in all sorts of love-potion shenanigans, and conveniently, a play-within-a-play by a group of enthusiastic, if untrained, amateurs; the close to three-hour-long production makes for a perfect balmy night out beneath the stars. [More]
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Bi-cultural dream full of comic energy
Review by Gabriel Faatau'uu Satiu 09th Dec 2017
A Midsummer Night’s Dream can be confusing because of the four interconnecting plot lines – all of which relate to a celebration of the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta, set in the woodland and in the realm of fairyland under the light of the moon. But in this production under the direction of Dr Miles Gregory and associate director Te Kohe Tuhaka, the spectacle and performances made up of the all-male ensemble from the Pop-up Globe’s Buckingham Company clarify the story.
An Athenian court is established in the opening scene and we learn that Hermia (Max Loban), who is in love with Lysander (Will Alexander), is resistant to the demand of her father Egeus (Peter Daube) demand hat she wed Demetrius (Patrick Carroll). Helena (Thomas Wingfield) meanwhile pines unrequitedly for Demetrius and upsets Egeus, who invokes an ancient law before Duke Theseus, where a daughter must marry a suitor chosen by her father or else face death. Theseus offers her another choice: lifelong chastity as a nun while worshipping the goddess Artemis.
Following another story line, the six mechanicals are dressed in safety work boots and hi-vis vests with ‘Sweet Ass Mechanical Solutions’ across the back. Quince (Peter Daube) and his colleagues, Bottom (Mike Edwards), Flute (Patrick Griffin), Starveling (Cameron Moore), Snout (Kevin Keys) and Snug (Josh Cramond) plan to put on a play for the wedding of the Duke and the Queen: ‘The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe’. Quince bestows the characters on these fellows, who would seem at home in any rehearsal hall where passionate amateur actors think of themselves as first rate thespians.
In the fourth plotline, Oberon (Jason Te Kare), who is the king of fairies, and Titania (Edward Peni), his queen, have come to the forest outside Athens. Titania tells Oberon that she plans to stay there until she has attended Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding. When Titania refuses to give Oberon the changeling boy she has stolen, he seeks punishment, calling upon Puck (Reuben Butler), his “shrewd and knavish sprite” to help make a magical potion. When applied to the eyelid (well in this instance, the forehead) of a sleeping person, that person will upon waking fall in love with the first living thing they see. The fairies are differentiated with traditional Māori garments and their dialogue is only spoken in te reo. Although I am not Māori, nor do I speak te reo, the actions and choreography of the actors is strong enough to let the audience know what is happening.
Hermia and Lysander have escaped to the same forest in the hope of eloping. Hermia climbs over an audience member and slides down one of the pillars of her balcony tower to escape. Helena witnesses this from the audience, and is desperate to reclaim Demetrius’ love. So she tells him about the plan and he follows them in hopes of killing Lysander. Helena continually makes advances towards Demetrius, promising to love him more than Hermia however; he rejects her by insulting her even more.
Oberon observes this and orders Puck to spread some of the magical potion on Demetrius. Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius – who wakes up and, much to Helena’s dismay, falls in love with her. Oberon sees this and is enraged. So he also charms Demetrius’ eyes so that, upon waking up, he too is in pursuit of Helena. This upsets Hermia, who is finally awake, so they quarrel.
The fight is hilarious, as we watch grown men as women in 16th century gowns battle for love. The fight is manipulated by Puck who shows off his acrobatic skills, literally knocking both Demetrius and Lysander off their feet. They decide in the end that they must duel elsewhere, to prove whose love for Helena is greater. Oberon orders Puck to keep Lysander and Demetrius from catching up with one another and to remove the charm from Lysander so he can return to Hermia.
By interval I know that by the end of the night, I will be happy. So far I have really enjoyed the show, the use of stage entrances, audience interaction, and comedic action has been spot on. The costume differentiation of Jacobean and Māori costumes, designed by both by Bob Capocci and Shona Tawhiao, is beautiful. The atmosphere outside is amazing as the energy consistently flows from inside. It’s so magical, as the outdoors is decorated with fairy lights, and vines as if we are in the forest. We hear SAMS – the Sweet Ass Musical Solutions – as they march around playing brass music as if in rehearsal for their play at the wedding: it’s quite spectacular. The fifteen minute interval becomes twenty-five minutes. By this point, there is a lot of anticipation. We take our seats, or (the groundlings) our piece of ground; a bell is rung – and just like that, I am back in the dream sequence.
Quince and his band of six mechanics have arranged to perform their play and venture into the forest near Titania’s dwelling to rehearse. Bottom is spotted by Puck who transforms his head into that of an ass. When Bottom returns to rehearse, the others run and scream in terror, claiming that they are haunted. This sequence is hysterical, as Puck manipulates the other workmen to run amok – it is organized chaos. Bottom is left to sing to himself which awakens Titania who, having received the potion, falls in love with him.
Oberon takes opportunity to regain the changeling boy and, having achieved it, he releases Titania, orders Puck to remove the ass’s head from Bottom and arranges everything so Hermia, Helena, Demetrius and Lysander will all believe they have been dreaming. Eventually all four find themselves falling asleep in the open forest. It’s a funny, orgy-like scene. Puck administers the magical potion to Lysander again, claiming it will be all well in the dusk.
Theseus and Hippolyta – Te Kare and Peni – arrive on the scene early the next morning. They wake the lovers and because Demetrius is no longer in love with Hermia, Theseus over-rules Egeus’ demands and arranges a group wedding. They all decide that the night’s event must have been a dream. When Bottom awakes, he too decides that he must have experienced a dream.
Back in Athens, the lovers sit back and, with the audience, they watch as the SAMS players perform the tragic tale of Pyramus and Thisbe. The costuming in this are wonderfully over the top. The performers are so awesomely terrible at playing their roles that the guests laugh as if it were meant to be a comedy. Snout as the wall – the barrier between Bottom’s character Pyramus and Flute’s character Thisbe – has my favourite costume. They communicate through the wall using cones which ties in with their hi-vis/workmen themed image.
Bottom performs the famous Pyramus death scene. It is super dramatic and as he plunges the dagger into his heart … the use of blood is spectacular. Suffice to say when Flute’s Thisbe stabs herself, the groundlings take a few steps back. The play-within-the-play is great and is my favourite scene.
Puck delivers the epilogue, the ensemble comes out in support and they dance as they take their bows – to a standing ovation. And on this (maybe not quite) midsummer night, I think about my life and wonder if love only exists in my dreams too.
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