Living the Midsummer Dream
After more than a year of preparation including auditions, skills workshops, special tasks and rehearsal, a Castle Players team of six actors, one director and a rehearsal Titania opened the national tour of the RSC’s A Midsummer Night’sDream: A Play for the Nation.
The two-week run in Newcastle was shared with fellow amateur theatre group, The People’s Theatre from Newcastle, who performed during the press and final nights.
The response from the audience was overwhelming, with a full standing ovation on the first night. Much of the audience was made up of fellow Castle Players, friends and family, who waited to receive the team in the Northern Stage bar following the show. It was an emotional event for the amateur actors who were moved by the response, and who left the first night curtain call with tears in their eyes.
There was also a touch of sadness at the opening night. Graham Fewell, who was due to play Snug the Joiner, fell and broke his leg two days before the show opened and was unable to participate. His role was played by RSC actor Ben Goffe who understudies Snug during the run. Graham still plans to see all 14 of the amateur groups perform around the country and hopes to be recovered by June so he can join the Castle Players dream team in Stratford for the end of the run.
Read more about A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation:
- Article: Living the dream alongside Royal Shakespeare Company (The Teesdale Mercury)
- Article: Teesdale actor’s agony as he breaks a leg for real (The Teesdale Mercury)
- Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A Play for the Nation: Northern Stage, Newcastle (The Northern Echo)
- Review: Newcastle amateurs and children shine in the RSC's A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Journal)
- TV: Opening night preview (Made in Tyne and Wear)
- Blog: My Love Letter to the Dream16 company (By show composer Sam Kenyon)
The first night performance was filmed by the BBC, which followed the Castle Players team throughout the process. An Inside Out documentary about the production is due to be shown on BBC One later this May.
The Castle Players have three more performances of The Dream to look forward to. They will perform on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage in Stratford upon Avon on 22nd and 23rd June.
The Dream roles were played by Peter Cockerill (Bottom, the Weaver), Andrew Stainthorpe (Flute, the Bellows Mender), Harry French (Quince, the Carpenter), Ian Kirkbride (Starveling, the Tailor), Ben Pearson (Snout, the Tinker), Graham Fewell (Snug, the Joiner) and director Jill Cole. Sarah Fells took the role of rehearsal Titania. The amateur cast performed alongside a cast of 18 professional actors and a professional creative team, led by RSC Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman.
|Andrew Stainthorpe as Flute||Harry French as Quince|
|Peter Cockerill as Bottom||Ben Pearson as Snout|
|Ian Kirkbride as Starveling||Graham Fewell (who WILL play Sung in Stratford!)|
Production photographs by Topher McGrillis