One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies A Midsummer Night’s Dream is returning to Newcastle’s Pacific Park next month.
Set among the fig trees at Newcastle East, Shakespeare Under the Stars is a Whale Chorus production, performed with “live” music and an ensemble of local actors.
After a sellout season last summer, its creators are hoping to once again wow Newcastle audiences.
Director Janie Gibson still has fond memories of the 2022 performance.
“We were rapt with the response to our first season last summer. People came away glowing,” she said.
“We had a really broad range of the community attend, from experienced theatregoers to people who had never been to the theatre before.
“The show sold out before we opened the season, so we’re bringing it back.
“Next year we will be back with a new play, and our Shakespeare Under the Stars will be an annual event in Newcastle.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows the story of four young lovers, and a group of amateur actors, as they journey into the forest and are overtaken by the unpredictable world of fairies in a comedy of unlikely love spells.
Reviewers said last year’s production was joyful.
“The demonstrated engagement of the many young children in the audience (including the 6–7-year-old sitting next to me) attested to the quality of the production and the fact that it has managed to hit the mark for a family show.
“It was a sold-out crowd too and there were people lining up who hadn’t booked and were simply hoping to be let in.”
Michelle Gosper from Sydney Arts Guide said “Gibson’s use of space is remarkable. The way in which she augments the natural landscape of a large fig tree to depict relations of characters and heighten comedic beats is a joy to watch.”
“It was a truly clever idea to present the show in this setting, literally in the middle of our Australian summer, as the heat and the sun dies down to a dark night throughout the running time,” said Matthew Collins.
Shakespeare Under the Stars: A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed at Newcastle’s Pacific Park from 14 to 17 December at 7pm.
Tickets can be purchased ($35-$45) from Civic Theatre Newcastle.
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