Students at The King’s School in Chester have been living the dream.
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, the drama department signed up to Royal Shakespeare challenge to perform the Bard’s much-loved comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The production, in March in the school’s Vanbrugh Theatre, involved two casts, with different people giving very different aspects to the roles on alternate nights.
An excerpt from a school magazine review said: “Patrick Hudson was a hoot as Bottom and his strong command of the Shakespearean language made his delivery both enjoyable and accessible in equal measure.
“Hudson’s rapport with Barney Rule’s highly strung Quince was joyful to watch (with Rule also offering an equally hilarious Bottom on alternate nights).
“Harriet Fisher turned in a riotously sassy performance as Hermia, juxtaposed wonderfully with Chloe Cowan and Rebecca Hatton’s intelligent portrayal of Helena.
“Edward Ramsey and Jack Sackett offered deliciously contrasting portrayals of Demetrius; Sackett adopted a delightfully strutting and swaggering physicality as he arrogantly and ruthlessly spurned Helena, whilst Ramsey’s portrayal was endearingly sweet and romantic. Both Tom Cuffin-Munday and Tom Larken completed the lovers with a dynamic portrayal of Lysander.
“The fairy world was headed up by Sam Barnes and Fin Paterson as a brooding and calm Oberon (and both were on commanding form as Theseus on alternate nights) whilst Emily Snow gave a stunningly assured and professional performance as Titania.
“Zoe Edwards also turned in an admirable performance as the fairy queen while Erika Ignata and Olivia McNee dazzled the audience with two very different, albeit equally charming, performances as Puck.”
The theatre space was transformed by the school’s art department to portray the dream world the characters inhabit and the fairies entered the action via scaffolding and ladders draped in white material with ultra violet painted trees signifying their ‘other world.
The production was directed by director of drama Clare Howdon and Dr Ann Marie McMahon with Julia Williams as dance co-ordinator. Lighting was by Stuart Mannix and William Clarke with original music by Ananda Chatterjee and Wil Jones.