A Midsummer Night's Dream

In a play about affection and transformation, the power of love uplifts the characters and makes the dreamy world of fantasy a reality, in a wonderful adaptation staged at Paston Sixth Form College by the ‘Far East Theatre Company’. 

Set in a Norfolk country estate circa 1920s, the ‘Far East Theatre Company’ have produced an elegant and mystical adaptation of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare in 1616.

But why set the adaptation in Norfolk we asked Director Dawn Finnerty?
‘My starting point for this production began with location, location, location… If Midsummer Night’s Dream was set here in Norfolk – how would the play work?’

In the traditionally complex plot the Duke, Theseus (Josh Hinds), is set to wed Hippolyta (Rachel Sutton) and the local aristocracy, including Egeus (Nick Davidson) ,are invited to gather and celebrate, then ‘meet’ for a hunt in the beautifully depicted woods.  But the thwarted lovers, Hermia (Isabella Toft), Helena (Charlotte Ware), Lysander (Robbie Nicholls) and Demetrius (Ben Would) take their own interpretation of this idea, and instead hunt for love.

Meanwhile in the same enchanted grove of woodland, ‘The Mechanics’ played by Laura Finnemore, Nathan Mills, Micah Richmond, Jake Lomax, Daisy Campbell and Bella Whitely – Tie, the skilled craftsman of Norfolk who work on the estate, rehearse a play to celebrate the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta.  Eventually these enthralled mortals stumble upon fairy travellers, who are in the midst of a turbulent time involving the Fairy King Oberon (Josh Duckmanton) and his Queen Titania (Claudia Martinez), and Puck ( Phoebe Hagan). Enchanted by brilliant performances from Pippa Stebbings, Hatty Horscroft, Isla Cornish and Nick Davidson, it was easy for the audience to fall under the spell of this mysterious woodland.

Remaining true to the original work by Shakespeare, the talented cast draw together the many twists and turns in this turbulent plot, bringing the production to an end with outstanding performances and exemplary effort.

Through song, drama and dance the students have created an abstract and magical representation, bringing Shakespeare’s play to life.

Ex-Paston student Josh Duckmanton is currently auditioning for Drama Schools in London, with recalls coming up this month, he said he was thrilled to be invited back. “I have enjoyed the whole experience and when I agreed to help Dawn, I hadn’t realised just how busy I would be.”
As this current run of productions comes to an end at Paston Sixth Form College, we must commend all the students and staff involved, praise their obvious talent, and continued hard work in order to make these productions a reality. Reviews of the two plays staged over the last fortnight can be found on our Twitter page, alongside information, student reviews and images on the college website.

With special thanks to…

Rachel Morrison, Sophia Serazin Podmore, Nathan Mills, Fish Need Snorkels, Matt Stainthorpe, Imogen Osborn, Libby Henshaw, Fiona Wass, Gemma Bately, Anna Page, Sophia Serazin Podmore, Mark Byers, Steve Nicholls, Paul Greeves, Dawn Finnerty, Josh Duckmanton and Rachael Morrison.

Paston student, Imogen Osborn, has written a beautiful review which can be accessed via the link below:

http://yourmasterpretender.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/a-midsummer-nights-success.html

 

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