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A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM to Return to Original Home at Berkeley Castle This Summer

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM to Return to Original Home at Berkeley Castle This Summer

Today 19th February 2016 marks the 420th anniversary of the wedding between Lord Thomas Berkeley and Elizabeth Carey - the wedding for which William Shakespeare wrote one of the most successful plays in theatre history - A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. The play was performed for the very first time at the wedding, and in July 2016 (Sun 17th July- Wed 27th July 2016; and matinees Tue 19th, Wed 20th, Thur 21st July 2016) will return to Berkeley Castle for what will be a history-making production of this play.

Producer Tom Berkeley holds very close familial ties to the project as he is a descendant of the very Berkeley family for whom the play was written.

"It's a huge honour to bring A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, which holds such a special place in my family history, back to Berkeley Castle. In July, history will repeat itself; never again will this play be performed at a venue so fitting on such a special anniversary - it is truly unique. This July, 'The Dream' comes home," said Berkeley.

Set in the heart of a mythical forest surrounding Athens, four star-crossed lovers, a company of amateur actors and a fairy kingdom will collide to create one of the best-loved tales of falling in love - all in one night. But as we know, and as we are told; "The course of true love never did run smooth."

Split Second Productions is a London-based theatre company formed in 2014. Following a highly successful Edinburgh Fringe Festival season in 2015, the company, in conjunction with Berkeley Castle, began plans for an anniversary performance of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. Featuring live music and set amongst the beautiful scenic gardens of Berkeley Castle, this production promises to be as magical and unique as the very play itself.

Featured in the cast are: Ross White as Oberon/Theseus, Hannah Baxter-Eve as Puck, Natasha Ravenscroft as Titania/Hippolyta, Cory Chambers as Lysander, Alex Myers-Allen as Demetrius, Alex Coppola as Bottom, Maddie Hatt as Hermia, Ocean Barrington-Cook as Helena, Jay Parsons as Quince, Angus Berryman as Egeus/Snug, Lucy-May Orange as Starveling and Jarrad Pugh as Flute.

Dr. Jaq Bessell has directed plays in New York and London and in regional theatres across the USA . Her career began at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and she was Head of Research at Shakespeare's Globe under Mark Rylance's tenure. Theatre credits include: Shakespeare's Globe, London: Twelfth Night, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, King Lear, Cymbeline, Macbeth, Hamlet, The Tempest, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra; Horse Trade Theater Group, New York: punkrock/lovesong (punk rock adaptation of Love's Labour's Lost); American Shakespeare Center /Blackfriars Playhouse, Virginia: Love's Labour's Lost, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Hamlet, Twelfth Night; Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis: The Playboy of the Western World, Gross Indecency, Stags and Hens; Live Arts, Virginia: Cowboy Mouth, The River; The Pickle Factory, Utah: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Mojo; Performance Research Group, Stratford upon Avon: Antony and Cleopatra, Macbeth. She is the author of several articles and book chapters on Shakespeare, directing, and actor training, and is under contract with Arden Shakespeare for a book on Shakespeare in production on both sides of the Atlantic.

Berkeley Castle is the oldest Castle in England to be inhabited by the same family that built it. Berkeley Castle is the home of John & Gina Berkeley and the place where their sons Charles & Henry, the 27th generation of the family, grew up.

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