Friday, 19 February 2016

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM returns to its original home, Berkeley Castle, in a new anniversary production this summer

19th February 2016 marks the 420th anniversary of the wedding between Lord Thomas Berkeley and Elizabeth Carey- the wedding for which William Shakespeare wrote one of the most successful plays in theatre history- A Midsummer Nights Dream. The play was performed for the very first time at the wedding, and in July 2016 will return to Berkeley Castle for what will be a history-making production of this play. Producer Tom Berkeley holds very close familial ties to the project as he is a descendant of the very Berkeley family for whom the play was written. 

Its a huge honour to bring A Midsummer Nights Dream, which holds such a  special place in my family history, back to Berkeley Castle. In July, history will repeat itself; never again will this play be performed at a venue so fitting on such a special anniversary- it is truly unique. This July, The Dream comes home.

Tom Berkeley, Producer

Set in the heart of a mythical forest surrounding Athens, four star-crossed lovers, a company of amateur actors and a fairy kingdom will collide to create one of the best-loved tales of falling in love- all in one night. But as we know, and as we are told; The course of true love never did run smooth.

Split Second Productions is a London-based theatre company formed in 2014. Following a highly successful Edinburgh Fringe Festival season in 2015, the company, in conjunction with Berkeley Castle, began plans for an anniversary performance of A Midsummer Nights Dream. Featuring live music and set amongst the beautiful scenic gardens of Berkeley Castle, this production promises to be as magical and unique as the very play itself. 

Berkeley Castle is the oldest Castle in England to be inhabited by the same family that built it. Berkeley Castle is the home of John and Gina Berkeley and the place where their sons Charles & Henry, the 27th generation of the family, grew up. 

Dr Jaq Bessell has directed plays in New York and London and in regional theatres across the USA . Her career began at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and she was Head of Research at Shakespeares Globe under Mark Rylances tenure. Theatre credits include: Shakespeares Globe, London: Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Nights Dream, King Lear, Cymbeline, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Tempest, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra; Horse Trade Theater Group, New York: punkrock/lovesong (punk rock adaptation of Loves Labours Lost); American Shakespeare Center /Blackfriars Playhouse, Virginia: Loves Labours LostA Midsummer Nights DreamMuch Ado About NothingKing LearHamletTwelfth Night; Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis: ThePlayboy of the Western WorldGross IndecencyStags and Hens;  Live Arts, Virginia: Cowboy MouthThe River; The Pickle Factory, Utah: MacbethRomeo and JulietMojo; Performance Research Group, Stratford upon Avon: Antony and CleopatraMacbeth. She is the author of several articles and book chapters on Shakespeare, directing, and actor training, and is under contract with Arden Shakespeare for a book on Shakespeare in production on both sides of the Atlantic.

Confirmed Cast List:

Ross White as Oberon/Theseus, Hannah Baxter-Eve as PuckNatasha Ravenscroft as Titania/HippolytaCory Chambers as LysanderAlex Myers-Allenas DemetriusAlex Coppola as BottomMaddie Hatt as HermiaOcean Barrington-Cook as HelenaJay Parsons as QuinceAngus Berryman as Egeus/SnugLucy-May Orange as Starveling and Jarrad Pugh as Flute. 

A Midsummer Nights Dream 
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Dr Jaq Bessell
A Split Second and PRG Production

Tickets on Sale soon

Berkeley Castle,

Show Dates:
Evening- Sun 17th July- Wed 27th July 2016
Matinee- Tue 19th, Wed 20th, Thur 21st July 2016
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