The Bard’s words out in the open

Illyria are coming to Epworth next month
Illyria are coming to Epworth next month

An open-air production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is going to be held at Epworth’s Thurlow Memorial Playing Field.

The Shakespeare classic will be performed next month by professional touring company Illyria, who are reprising the show to celebrate their 25th anniversary, after first performing the play in 1992, during their first season.

A spokesman for the company said: “Perennially popular, universally loved, the play follows four couples – three human and one fairy – whose passions are sorely tested when a troupe of amateur theatricals rehearse a play about a doomed love affair. Add in to the mix a heady brew of

confusion, magic and mischief and you have the perfect comedy for a summer evening.

“Illyria has been bringing top quality, open-air theatre to the most stunning locations throughout the UK and beyond for 25 years. Since the company’s first production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it has won no less than four international theatre awards, and still performs the entire play, uncut, with just five quick-changing, fast-running actors who share all the roles between them.”

And while the company follows many Elizabethan performance practices, it has chosen to leave the policy of all-male casting back in the 16th century.

“The 16th century is where that tradition belongs and, instead, Illyria adopts a more up-to-date policy of casting both male and female actors,” added the spokesman.

The free performance, on July 10, will start at 6pm. People are advised to arrive early, bring their own drinks and nibbles and dress suitably for an ‘English summer.’