24 March 2022
'Dream On' by Alison Chaplin
"The course of true love never did run smooth" - William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Act 1, Sc 1)
Over the last few years, it has not just been ‘true love’ that hasn’t ‘run smoothly’, but many of the activities that we take for granted.
Therefore, we were delighted to be able to welcome back a live audience to the Summerlee Hall for the 2022 production of Dream On, a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Alison Chaplin’s version of Shakespeare’s play includes the same high-spirited mischief, led by the notorious ‘wanderer of the night’, Puck.
We see the human world and the fairy world merge in scenes of chaos and misunderstandings, much to the amusement of the fairies. The fairies are also able to relish in the unexpected antics provided by the group of mechanicals, who are attempting to rehearse their own play to perform for Theseus and Hippolyta. However, their acting talents and rehearsal plans leave a lot to be desired, as they also arrive in the forest at night.
Pupils from the First Year through to the Upper Sixth brought this magical world to life. The fantasy woodland landscape of the fairies was beautifully created by the First, Second, Third and Fourth Year, who were part of Puck’s gang and enjoyed the misfortunes of the mortals who wandered into their demesne.
These friendship fall-outs and fickle behaviour of the mortals were also mirrored in the world of the fairies, with Oberon and Titania struggling to agree with each other.
The role of Puck was convincingly played by Isabella Durston, who portrayed the sprite’s mischievous side brilliantly.
The mechanicals, presented as boiler-suited workers by Fourth Year GCSE drama pupils, created entertainingly comic vignettes, most notably led by Dotty Hackett’s portrayal of Bottom, the egocentric and bullish buffoon.
Unfortunately, COVID hit the lovers and with a last minute cast change, Upper Sixth drama pupil, Lily Hitchen, showed an impressive commitment, learning the lines for Hermia in just three days! The comic exchanges between her and Lysander, Demetrius and Helena, played by Tyler Cowie, Jed Snell and Poppy Taylor, showed that Shakespeare’s message of the mixed fortunes of love has never dated.
The pupils’ sense of camaraderie was evident in all performances and despite some members of the cast being taken ill, the ‘show must go on’ mentality shone through!
Finally, the ingenuity of the direction from drama teacher, Miss Leeming, has to be applauded. The enthusiasm and the confidence that the cast displayed comes from a clear overall vision, and it truly was a magical experience.
A selection of photographs can be viewed on our Flickr page at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kgsphotos/albums/72177720297591319