Rotarians and guests had a chance to enjoy a contemporary version of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night's Dream” – the magical comedy of fairies & young lovers – out in Nonington the other day.
The performance, repeated over two evenings, was put on by local drama group Primal Clay (who previously gave us a performance of Macbeth). As before, it was held on a special outdoor stage created at the home of Past President and Rotarian Phil Abbott. It was hosted by our club together with the Rotary Club of Canterbury Sunrise.
After enjoying their BYO picnics, the audience – most of them tucked under a gazebo to keep them dry in the light drizzle – settled down to watch the performance, introduced by Phil who told everyone a little bit about Primal Clay.
It might not have been midsummer weather, but the players did a great job with the shortened, modern version of the play. All the key characters were there, including the four Athenian lovers; Bottom & the mechanicals; fairy king and queen Oberon and Titania; and mischievous fairy Puck.
Outfits were casual in this version (the lovers wore hi-vis gilets; Puck, who spoke in a Scottish accent, wore a hat, kilt and black feathers). One or two other changes also made the play more up to date. For instance, the character Lysander was renamed Lysandra and played by a female, and best friends Hermia and Helena could be seen having a facetime chat on their phones. A couple of performers were unwell and couldn’t attend – but they didn’t miss taking part thanks to cameras and modern technology (which, it has to be said, didn’t always behave well!)
The play had the fun and magic of the original, with eerie green and red coloured lights adding to the atmosphere; a friendly black dog in the audience managed to bring extra hilarity by giving out the occasional bark at appropriate moments!
Afterwards the performers took their bows to warm applause and the presidents of our two clubs, Tony Loughran and Sinitta Nightingale, thanked all those who took part – the performers, the backstage folk (including Phil and PP Peter Hermitage who oversaw ticketing etc), and of course, black dog!
The performance was a fundraiser, with funds raised from each ticket split three ways between Primal Clay and our two Rotary Clubs for the international and local causes that we each support.
- Oberon/ Flute: Tudor Smith
- Hermia: Georgia Graham
- Helena: Alice Monk
- Lysandra: Sharna D’ Rosario
- Nick Bottom: Mark Vincent
- Snug: Josie Kay
- Titiania: Julie Stroud
- Puck: Hain Macsheoinin
- Peter Quince: Matthew Sullivan
- Theseus: Barry Clayton
- Hippolyta: Astrid Yardley-Mayo
Written by William Shakespeare, reworked for stage by Matthew Sullivan.
Directed by Josie Kay; Assistant Director by Matthew Sullivan
Lighting by Philip Abbott; sound by Matthew Sullivan; visuals by Josie Kay
Picture: Character Bottom encouners Fairy Queen Titania on day 1 of the performamces. Picture credit: Rotary Club of Canterbury.
More pictures can be seen on our facebook page.