© 2019 by Matt Edgerton

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Image Matt Edgerton

Dates: 2012: State Theatre Centre WA, Fremantle Arts Centre, Metro Perth

Company: Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

Role: Director

About

The first theatre show to be staged in the courtyard of the newly opened State Theatre Centre of WA, the show then toured to Fremantle and outer-metro Perth.

For this production we gave ourselves the restriction of using only found objects to tell the story. The result was an actor-centred interpretation, using lots of stage magic, audience immersion and dynamic physical comedy.

Extract from Director's Notes

Most likely written for the occasion of a wedding, A Midsummer Night's Dream is a celebration of love. Shakespeare’s best-loved comedy is nonetheless incredibly honest about the pain as well as the elation which we all experience. The play is also a celebration of theatre itself: of the sheer joy of putting on plays and in particular the pleasure of our shared imagination as actors and as audience. Characters tell us they are invisible or that they can change the weather with their moods and we believe them!

 

Elaborate designs can destroy this experience, leaving nothing to the imagination. In fact the less literal we are in the way we stage the story, the more true we are to the play as it was written – for a bare stage, contemporary clothes, with no artificial lighting and virtually no set.

 

The graduating WAAPA actors and I have set about staging this story with almost nothing: just a pile of cardboard boxes we got for free, an old vacuum cleaner, some spare clothes and some junk we found on the side of the road. And as Shakespeare certainly did in his day, we have taken the liberty of cutting the play. It will run at approximately 75 minutes. We hope you enjoy this playful, passionate and joyous celebration of our shared imaginative powers.

Responses

A tumultuous roller-coaster ride of full of acrobatics, DIY set design, romance and slapstick humour. An interesting mixture of Bell Shakespeare’s high-brow art, Shakespeare’s dense satirical parable, and a minimalistic stage design which called for the collective imagination of the actors and the audience.  

Everguide

An hilarious rendition of one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies. It was certainly a performance worth braving the inclement weather... It’s impressive what you can do with some clothes rails, sheets and boxes. 

The [AU] Review