Created for a recent production of Shakespeare’s comedy, this poster shows Oberon and Titania looking lovingly at each other over the night time forest scene where all the mischief and fun takes place. If you haven’t seen the play before or studied at school, here’s an overview of the story of a Midsummer’s Night Dream:
Once upon a time there was a girl called Hermia who was in love with a boy called Lysander. Hermia’s Dad was unimpressed with this situation and wanted her to marry someone else – a boy called Demetrius. Unfortunately Hermia despised Demetrius and this was beside the fact he was supposed to be marrying Hermia’s best friend, Helena.
Hermia asks the Duke of Athens for help, but he is too busy with preparations for his own wedding. He hires a bunch of workmen to help with his wedding and they plan to surprise him by performing a play at his wedding. This is a case of serious amateur dramatics and they go to the forest to rehearse.
Meanwhile Hermia and Lysander run away to the forest with Demetrius in hot pursuit. They didn’t know he was following them though. And Demetrius doesn’t know that Helena is following him. She’s mad about him, but he’s not so keen on her.
While the workmen and the girlfriends and boyfriends are in the forest, the Fairy King (Oberon) and his Fairy Queen (Titania) have a major blowout row. The Fairy King decides to play a nasty trick on his wife. He orders his sidekick, a fairy called Puck to create a love potion which will make her fall in love with an ugly animal.
Demetrius is being really awful to Helena and this catches the Fairy King’s attention. He feels sorry for Helena and tells Puck to put love potion on Demetrius to make him fall in love with Helena. Mayhem ensues when Puck mistakes the various lovers and drops potions in the wrong places.
There is, of course a happy and joyful ending but there’s lots of twists and turns along the way. It all takes place in the forest and is really very funny. Like all Shakespeare plays it takes a bit of getting used to the language (well it does for me anyway) but it is a thoroughly enjoyable tale.
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