Award winning MATE Productions, in partnership with Shakespeare North and the RSC Open Stages programme, presented the spectacular promenade indoor and outdoor production, premiering in the beautiful 15th century church and woodland gardens of Prescot Parish Church, and touring woodlands and community gardens across Knowsley, Liverpool and Stratford Upon Avon between May – August 2015.
Over 100 local community actors, dancers, musicians, singers, sewers, crafters and volunteers aged 8 – 79 years worked with the MATE Productions’ team of professional practitioners; including theatre designer Adele Hayter, musical directors and composers Aimee and Taran Harris, choreographers Alan Pugh and Rachael Farrell, and practitioners from the RSC, to create a magical outdoor promenade performance of Shakespeare’s most loved comedy. With live musicians and singers, fairy dancers, stunning design and a talented local cast, the production fulfilled its promise to be magical, unique, family-friendly.
Community engagement also included an exciting programme of free arts and craft workshops in local schools where children made dream catchers and magical artefacts to hang on the trees and transform the woodlands into a midsummer’s fairyland. Families were encouraged to bring their children to performances dressed as flower fairies or naughty sprites. As well as the production itself, there were face-painters before the show and during the interval so the children in the audience could become fairies or sprites.
The King and Queen of Fairyland are having a furious row, as a pair of star crossed lovers find themselves lost in a magical woodland where naughty sprites like to steal trinkets and toy with hapless humans.
A group of amateur actors are also in the forest rehearsing a play for the Duke’s wedding day, watched by a wicked and mischievous Puck.
Mishaps, love drugs and confusion as a Bottom is transformed, the Fairy Queen falls madly in love with a donkey, the lovers all love the wrong person and things get pretty dirty amongst the trees!