Sunday 15 August 2004

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Heartbreak Productions, "the UK's premier professional open-air touring company", is delighted to transport you into summer with their magical and joyous interpretation of Shakespeare's most enchanting comedy, "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

In a brand new venture, Heartbreak is bringing this stunning production to city parks. In conjunction with the City Councils, Park Rangers and local amenities, the company's show will be performing for ten days giving thousands the opportunity to indulge in a summer picnic and delightful evening's entertainment. There will also be children's workshops run by Heartbreak Productions.

"We really are very excited by this project:" says Peter Mimmack, the artistic director, "we usually play one or two nights at a venue before moving on, so establishing ourselves in such a fantastic place will be a great joy. We're also looking forward to the half-day workshops: the children will get to experience dance, movement, fight techniques, masks and make-up."

The production toured throughout the country last year receiving exceptional plaudits from critics and audiences alike. "For hundreds of years, A Midsummer Night's Dream has been held in great affection by audiences both young and old - its dark mystical qualities set against bawdy, rustic humour give it universal appeal." Explains Peter.

BUT, in a bold departure from the standard fare, Heartbreak are plunging this production into the 21st Century - no quaint, rustic yokels here. In place is a band of up-to-date traders with not a doublet and hose nor an Elizabethan bodice in sight! With such a huge range of characters, from the utterly fantastic to the downright mechanical, this deceptively simple story of "such sweet thunder" will be readily accessible for any of today's audiences.

Peter Mimmack, director of last year's "The Merry Wives of Windsor", 2002s "Richard III", 2001s "Taming of the Shrew" and 1999s "Twelfth Night", will expertly bring out the essence of the play and the exceptional talents of a multi-skilled cast. Paul Barrett, the production's designer, has created powerful masks and innovative staging that transports the audience into the magical world of princes, paupers and fairies. Outstanding original music by Darren Scott will highlight both the ethereal and rustic qualities as Titania, Oberon and Puck weave their magic on this ingenious stage.

This is the company's fifteenth open-air production following the successes of, amongst others, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" directed by Louise Jameson, "Much Ado About Nothing" under the baton of James Bolam, "The Tempest" and "The Merchant of Venice" directed by Barry Stanton. However, it is the first time they have based their productions in one venue for such an extended time and the company are hoping that it paves the way for this open-air Shakespeare festival to become an annual event.

For further information, contact Nicci Selby 01926 430307 or nicci

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