Chinese Adaptation of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM Opens at the Court Theatre, 5/31 - 6/21
The Court Theatre presents A Midsummer Night's Dream in a unique conception - half the company is Chinese from Beijing. "This is a magical production that will challenge and provoke. It's experimental and full of risk" says Philip Aldridge, Chief Executive at The Court.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream is Shakespeare's first masterpiece and his greatest comedy," says visiting director Joseph Graves from Peking University's Institute of World Theatre and Film who is in Christchurch to direct this collaboration with The Court Theatre.
Graves invites audiences to experience this unique theatrical event which brings together talented Chinese actors alongside some Court Theatre favourites. Joining the cast are six actors from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) in Christchurch.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is often described as one of Shakespeare's most accessible plays. Pranks, schemes and earthy comedy abound and it has cast its spell over audiences for centuries.
The play is about a dream, Nick Bottom's dream - a lovable, gentlemanly, if decidedly hair-brained fellow who embodies the decent everyman. He is just as at home in the rude demanding world of the workman as in the fantastical world of fairies and theatres.
Audiences will have a chance to hear Shakespeare in a fresh new way. The Chinese actors are working in English and in many cases this will be a third language for them.
The international theme continues behind the scenes with costume designs from American designer Joel Ebarb and stage lighting designed by Shego Wang from Beijing; set and sound design are by Derek Miller and Ryan Hopper from Indiana.
The show runs for three weeks in Christchurch after which it transfers for a season in Beijing. This builds on the hugely successful collaboration in 2012 between The Court and The Peking Institute when Man in a Suitcase similarly played at The Court and subsequently in Beijing.
"Forget any ideas about previous Shakespeare you have seen, let go of any judgement," says international actor Colin McPhillamy, who will play Peter Quince in this production. "Find out what there is to admire in these young performers and enjoy, as we the actors do, the contact with another culture coming half way to meet us."
Book tickets at www.courttheatre.org.nz. Tickets are from $55-$21. Performances are at 6:30pm on Mondays and Thursdays, 7:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Additionally, there will be a 2:00pm matinee on Saturday, June 7th.