Shakespeare’s comic masterpiece follows four young lovers and a troupe of stumbling actors through an enchanted wood, on a journey of discovery to find out who they are, whom they love, and why it matters. Beginning in a world that is in disrepair, the story moves to the forest, where the natural and supernatural have merged and elves, goblins,Directed by Scott Bellis (The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 2017; Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2014).
Production run time: 2hrs 40mins, including intermission
The story begins in Athens where we meet Theseus, a great military commander, a few days before he is to marry Hippolyta, a queen from a distant land. A prominent citizen named Egeus arrives, asking for Theseus’ support in dealing with his daughter, Hermia. Egeus wants her to marry a young man named Demetrius but Hermia has refused, because she’s in love with someone else – Lysander. Her father is determined to get his way and he draws on an ancient law that gives Hermia three stark choices: marry Demetrius, become a nun, or die!
In desperation, Hermia and Lysander decide to run away – but first they share the secret plan with Hermia’s friend Helena. Helena is deeply in love with Demetrius and she tells their secret to him. Demetrius follows the fleeing couple, Helena follows Demetrius, and soon, all four are in the wood outside of town.
In another part of Athens, a group of tradespeople are preparing a play in honour of Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding. Peter Quince has written it and he wants the title roles to be played by two co-workers, Bottom and Flute, with smaller parts for Snout, Starveling, and Snug. Bottom wants to play all the juicy roles, but eventually she settles for just the lead. The group decides to rehearse in the wood outside of town, to keep the performance a surprise for the wedding celebrations.
That wood is also the home of Oberon and Titania, rulers of the fairy realm, and their followers. They usually live in harmony with the natural world – but that harmony is now broken because Oberon and Titania are fighting over custody of a child. Oberon wants to get revenge on Titania, so he asks the fairy Puck to get him a magical flower with juices that make a sleeping person fall madly in love with the first creature they see when they wake up. He uses it on Titania so she will fall in love with one of the beasts in the forest. He also asks Puck to use it to help one of the young Athenian lovers. But Puck makes a critical mistake…
The scene is now set for these three groups’ stories to play out and connect. There will be misunderstandings and confusion, battling egos, love gone wrong – and finally made right. Come along and enjoy the adventure!
Bard on the Beach – A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a hit. The performance was magnificent and the costumes and stage were perfect. Set with the backdrop of the birds, trees, grass….makes it breathtaking. No better way to see a play.
It is nice to not have to worry about the weather for Bard on the Beach as you sit in a tent to watch the show. The day we attended it was raining on and off and I was so happy to be under the tent when I could hear the rain drops hitting the tent.
As Bard on the Beach is set in a beautiful location, you can venture, just as we did, down to the beach before the show to enjoy the scenery and to collect a few seashells if you like. 🙂
Also at Bard on the Beach…
- The Bard Village.
- Concession: Drinks and snacks available for purchase. Visa, Mastercard and debit accepted; no cash.
- Boutique: The Bard Boutique offers a unique selection of gifts and Bard merchandise.
There is plenty of parking at Bard on the Beach. Just give yourself enough time to park and walk over to the entrance. There was a wee lineup to get in but it zipped right through, only taking a few minutes to get the tickets scanned an us in.
There was a great number of staff and volunteers at the performance so we did not have to wait at all to get our drinks and snacks. We had two staff volunteer to guide us to our seats as well.
There are quite a few port-a-potties onsite and they were pretty clean when we used them. I loved the sinks with soap and water as well as I like to be able to wash my hands instead of just resorting to hand sanitizer after using a port-a-potty.
Bard on the Beach is the perfect venue with a breathtaking backdrop. Combine that with the performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and you have the perfect recipe for an enjoyable evening full of laughs, magic, and joy.
To see what Bard on the Beach shows remain for this season, make sure to visit the official Bard on the Beach website.
Disclosure: MomMomOnTheGo is often provided product, tickets, or compensation for the purpose of conducting reviews. As always, MomMomOnTheGo only supports companies, products, and services that she loves.