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Bristol Old Vic and Handspring Puppet Company's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM to Play the Barbican, Feb 6-15

Handspring Puppet Company's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.
Photo by Simon Annand.

Bristol Old Vic & Handspring Puppet Company's A Midsummer Night's Dream will run at the Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, London, EC2Y 8DS, Thursday 6 - Saturday 15 February 2014. Press night: Monday 10 February, 7.45pm.

Handspring Puppet Company returns to the Barbican for the first time since Woyzeck on the Highveld in September 2011 with A Midsummer Night's Dream. The first collaboration between Handspring and Tom Morris since War Horse, A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of Shakespeare's most popular and fantastical plays, premiered at Bristol Old Vic, where Morris is Artistic Director, in March 2013 and is now presented by the Barbican.

A shape-shifting Puck is conjured from a selection of workman's tools. An eight-foot-tall Titania presides over a troupe of malevolent fairies while a giant, controlling Oberon manipulates his fairy queen and meddles in the confusion of the squabbling lovers. A Midsummer Night's Dream takes place in a world where reality blurs with the mystic, where fairies are powerful, magical, mischievous and potentially dangerous. This world is realised in a riotous display of irreverent comedy, in which anything can come to life and be transformed.

The cast includes: Saikat Ahamed, Colin Michael Carmichael, Naomi Cranston, Alex Felto, Fionn Gill, Akiya Henry, Christopher Keegan, Kyle Lima, Saskia Portway, David Ricardo-Pearce, Lucy Tuck and Miltos Yerolemou.

Handspring Puppet Company was founded in 1981 by Artistic Director Adrian Kohler and Executive Producer Basil Jones. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, the company provides an artistic home and professional base for a core group of performers, designers, theatre artists and technicians. Handspring's work has been presented in more than 30 countries around the world and at numerous international festivals including Edinburgh, Avignon, LIFT and the Next Wave Festival at BAM in New York. The multi award-winning, run-away hit War Horse established Handspring as one of the most important puppet companies in the world. Recently it has made Or You Could Kiss Me with Neil Bartlett at the National Theatre and Stiller, based on the novel by Max Frisch, at The Residenztheater of Munich.

Tom Morris is Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic, where his productions include Juliet and Her Romeo and Swallows and Amazons and Associate Director of the National Theatre, where he co-directed War Horse and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, adapted A Matter of Life and Death and developed Coram Boy. He was the Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) from 1995 to 2004 and before that was an arts journalist and freelance producer, working for Time Out, The Sunday Times, The Observer and The Independent, and broadcasting for Kaleidoscope, Front Row and The Saturday Review. In 2012 Morris directed his first opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, for ENO and in 2011 was awarded a Tony Award for Best Director (with Marianne Elliott) for War Horse.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, presented by the Bristol Old Vic / Handspring Puppet Company, will be directed by Tom Morris, with puppetry by Handspring Puppet Company, designed by Vicki Mortimer, lighting by Philip Gladwell, and music by Dave Price, sound by Christopher Shutt, choreography by Laurel Swift, movement direction by Andrew Dawson.

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