A Midsummer Night's Dream (1992): National Theatre, NT Education Touring Production
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (1992)
CAST: David Carr (Demetrius, Puck); Lolita Chakrabarti (Titania); Alison Johnston (Hermia); Rory Murray (Lysander, Oberon); Jean Murphy (Helena).
This was a revival of Panet's 1989 NT Education production and toured to schools in the spring of 1992. It was billed as a workshop/performance project and was undertaken by the Cambridgeshire Shakespeare Consortium in assocation with the Royal National Theatre.
"Demetrius, in yellow tracksuit top, clearly means business. 'Watch it, Lysander - you back off now!' Lysander, in jeans and T-shirt, stands his ground, eyeball to eyeball with his rival....The NT project consists of a two-hour workshop followed by the performance of an hour-long version of the Dream in the afternoon. Bridget Panet, the director, has cut the scenes with Bottom and his fellow mechanicals to focus on the lovers' story and that of Oberon and Titania. She has also changed a number of archaic words - 'clothes' for 'weeds', 'mad' for 'wood'. That aside, the text is authentically Shakespeare's. The company uses the workshop time to introduce the students to ideas about verse-speaking and to show them some rehearsal techniques. The Lysander-Demetrius confrontation comes when the play's opening scene is performed in three different ways: first in the form of improvisation, then with the characters voicing their unspoken thoughts between speeches, and finally through an exercise that helps to clarify the text." ~ Jonathan Croall, "Shakespeare as action man is how they like it", Daily Telegraph, 20 February 1992