Bard's Dream is comedy with a darker tale to tell
Taking audiences on a journey of laughter as well as "sharp, cold edges", The Palace Theatre in Newark will welcome award-winning Sell-A-Door Theatre Company with A Midsummer Night's Dream on February 14-15.
Intended for audiences of all ages, director Bryn Holding says: "Whether audiences have never seen the play before or seen it 20 times, ours is a variation everyone can enjoy – with nine actors playing all the roles. We are asking audiences to come on this journey with us."
Despite being a comedy, Bryn says he has also drawn to the darker side of the tale as well. In his director's notes he says: "I was drawn to staging the play because of its sharp, cold edges. The force of its language. This play should not simply be dismissed as a light comedy. I wanted to explore the harsher side of it. The play opens with a young girl, Hermia, being told that she is to marry a man she does not love and if she refuses to marry him then she must vow to a single life or be put to her death. This is not the way you would expect a comedy to start.
"Titania talks about the world being upside down and the seasons in utter confusion. With the current unpredictable weather climate in this country, the seasons losing their definition, I feel it is a world we can begin to relate to."
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Bryn also believes A Midsummer Nights Dream is a great introduction to the Bard.
He says: "It's often the first experience people have of Shakespeare in the theatre. It's quite atmospheric and drives forward so quickly.
"I hope people enjoy our production and understand it. Whenever I work with Shakespeare it's also about making it accessible and taking that fear away. Shakespeare is meant to be performed and not just read. He was a writer working for the stage but at school we get drawn into just reading his text and getting bogged down with that. But as an audience you just get it."
February 14-15, 7.30pm. Tickets: £13, £11 concs. Box office: 01636 655755, www.palacenewark.com