Celebrating 30 years with the Bard

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This year sees the Actors’ Workshop Youth Theatre celebrate its 30th birthday, and for its first youth production of this landmark year it is staging a performance of William Shakespeare’s comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ directed by former member Shane Gough.

As Theseus prepares for his wedding with Hyppolyta, he is approached by his good friend Egeus who is having some trouble with his daughter Hermia.

Hermia is in love with Lysander but her father would much rather she be in love with, and marry, Demetrius (who is loved by Helena).

Theseus grants Egeus his wish and demands that Hermia marry Demetrius or become a nun.

To rebel against both her father and Theseus, Lysander and Hermia run away into the wood.

However, there seems to be a lot going on in the wood as Demetrius follows and, with him, a smitten Helena in search of his love.

Also amongst the trees, a group of Players are rehearsing to perform at Theseus wedding, including Bottom who becomes victim to the mischief of the Fairyland.

Fairyland is run by King Oberon and Queen Titania, who happen to be in cahoots over a small changeling boy. Oberon plots against Titania but his mischievous plans go slightly wrong and all those who have entered the woodland become affected by the clumsiness of his henchman Puck.

“The course of true love never did run smoothly.”

Of course, this being a Workshop production, a play where things aren’t quite as they seem will be brought to the stage in a way that’s not quite as you’ve seen it before.

Director Shane Gough said: “This is a huge opportunity for some of our young members as many of them have not yet taken part in a Shakespeare production and why not start with his most magical play.

“It is also a fitting tribute to this organisation as we celebrate thirty years of existence.

“It was the first production I was in when we opened our new premises in 1994, along with Tom Vickery playing Puck – and appearing in this production as King Oberon - and was also performed when we first opened up here at Back Victoria Street in 2003.”

lPerformances: Tuesday, April 14 – 18 at 7.30pm, with the bar open from 7pm. Tickets are £8.00 adults & £5.00 concessions and are available to book from The Workshop on 01422 323688.