A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM on tour
This OUDS/Thelma Holt production toured to various indoor and outdoor venues in England and Japan, including the Tristan Bates Theatre in London and Mill Studio in Guildford. The touring nature of the production was both exciting and challenging, not least because the set and costumes needed to be packed in the actors’ suitcases to fly to Japan.
The director’s interpretation of this play located Theseus’s court in an early 20th century industrial city. The set – constrained by both budget and space – therefore sought to evoke atmosphere rather than architecture, combining the smoking chimneys of industry with the magical qualities of Shakespeare’s forest. Wooden crates were used as staging and seating and re-assembled at each venue, reflecting the business interests of our Theseus. A trio of backdrops were ambiguously painted with water marks and repeated lines, suggesting both urban smog and forest foliage. The long, narrow format meant that these banners could be adjusted for the height of the performance space (between 2-6 metres) and referenced chimneys, tree trunks and Japanese scroll paintings.
Finally, a curtain of suspended discs glowed with the addition of UV light, used to signify the exploits of the fairies through a conjunction of actors, script, set and lighting.
DIRECTOR: Will Felton
PRODUCER: Nicole Evans
DESIGNER: Nathan Stazicker
LIGHTING: Ed Saunders
COSTUMES: Alex Wickens
"Constrained by budget and space, the set sought to evoke atmosphere rather than architecture"