Two new productions of Shakespeare’s comedies are coming to London this summer.
At Regents Park, in the Open Air Theatre’s amphitheatre under the stars, the New Shakespeare Company are returning with performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the magical tale of fairies and jilted lovers, accompanied by music and presented in an edgy and contemporary style. Running until 5 September, the play is part of the Open Air Theatre’s 80th season. Despite having space for over 1200 patrons, the bowl-shaped auditorium is said to be one of London’s most intimate theatre spaces – but of course you should be prepared for all sorts of weather conditions on your visit as only the bar area is under cover! There’s a picnic area next to the auditorium so many people choose to bring along an evening meal before they head in for the performance. The play runs Mondays to Saturdays at 7:45pm with matinees on Saturdays at 2:15pm, and you’ll find tickets online here.
In the slightly less salubrious surroundings of Edmonton, Enfield’s amateur theatrical group St Monica’s Players are bringing ‘Twelfth12th Night Fever’ to the Millfield Theatre from 20 to 23 June. Not quite as close to the original text as the show in Regent’s Park, ’12th Night Fever’ takes Shakespeare’s classic story about cross-dressing, mistaken identity and romance and adds songs from the Bee Gees, ABBA, the Village People and others. While it might not satisfy serious students of Shakespeare, I’m sure the audience will be in for a very colourful, rip-roaring night!
For those who turn their noses up at us amateurs, I should mention that past members of Saint Monica’s Players have included notable figures such as BBC reporter Brian Hanrahan, who shot to fame with his coverage of the Falklands war, and Jo Collins OBE, co-founder of Chicken Shed. Of course, they’re always on the look-out for new members – see their website above for more details.
Performances of ‘Twelfth Night Fever’ take place at 7:45pm, with a signed performance on the Thursday evening. To book call 0208 807 6680 to buy tickets or book online through the Millfield Theatre Online Box Office.