A Midsummer Night's Dream

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Karen Carleton
Performed in Airfield, Dundrum (Summer) and The Cuckoo's Nest Tallaght in January 2001

A Midsummer Night's Dream, a comedy by William Shakespeare, is believed to have been written between 1594 and 1596. The play has three plots that interconnect using the celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and the Amazonian queen, Hippolyta. It is set in a woodland and in Fairyland, under the light of the moon. The story tells of the adventures of four young Athenian lovers, a group of amateur actors, their interactions with the Duke of Athens, Theseus, the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, and with the fairies who inhabit a moonlit forest. It is one of the most popular Shakespearian works.

Helena (Camille Donnegan) during a performance in Airfield Gardens


Titania (Anne Lucas), Oberon (Geoffrey O Keefe) during a performance in Tallaght


The poster for 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'
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Director's Note

A Midsummer Night's Dream was first performed over 400 years ago and remains one of Shakespeare's best loved and most performed works.


The play works on many levels. On one level it can be seen as light fantasy but on another the dark forest may be an elaborate allegory for the labyrinth of the ubconcious through which sexual beings must find their way....... the complexity is facinating


It was first pubhlished in 1600, but had already been 'sundry times publicly acted'. It is most often suggested that the first performance was in honour of a noble wedding.


Staged frequently from 1661, Garrick had a spectacular success in 1722 while more operatic versions followed: 1816, music by Henry Bishop, music by Mendelssohn in 1827 and by Benjamin Britten in 1960. Louis Armstrong played Bottom in an American production in 1939 and in Max Reinhardt's film in 1935, there were lenghty ballet sequences and fairies clad in seaweed.


Judi Dench played Titania in Peter Hwll's 1862 RSC production but it was the radical RSC production of 1970, directed by Peter Brooke, that changed the way in which 'the Dream' came to life........gone were the tutu clad ballet fairies and the handsome settings. As Brooke points out - 'these surfaces all too frequently pass for substance in Shakespearean productions'.


We have tried to be true to Brooke's philosophies and made a muscular thing of a piece of fancy, to find the mass of feelings, actions and ideas in the text. It was a facinating journey and one we thouroughly enjoyed.


Karen Carleton, Director

Thesus, Duke of Athens
Hippolyta, Amazon Queen
Egeus, Hermia's father
Lady in Waiting


Francis Flute/Thisbe

Fairy Kingdom


Wes Scully
Hilary Madigan
Tony McGettigan
Mary Ryan
Teresa Dempsey

Claire Joyce
Hugh Gallagher
Camille Donnegan
John Hunt

Jim Carroll
Kevin Fahey
Brian Slattery
John Hurley
Paul Sharpe
John O'Sullivan

Bernard Doyle
Geoffrey O'Keefe
Anne Lucas
Mary Ryan
Teresa Dempsey
Dorothy Cullen
Fiona Doherty
Myra McPartlin
Henri Kiblong
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