A diverse company of 23 dancers, musicians and actors initially came together for a seven-week rehearsal process to create the piece, performed – originally in outdoor venues – in English, Tamil, Malaysian, Sinhalese, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi and Sanskrit, with much emphasis placed on visual theatre and imagery.
At the Roundhouse, A Midsummer Night's Dream is co-produced by Roger Chapman, Matthew Byam Shaw and ACT Productions. Its London premiere – running from 13 March to 14 April 2007 (previews from 8 March) – precedes a major UK and international tour.
Overnight critics were inspired by the imagination that went into creating some stunning visual effects, and while they agreed a familiarity with Shakespeare’s play is valuable for audience members, they were impressed with the way the ensemble cast told the story clearly, overcoming the potential barriers of performing in eight languages. Reviews praised all the performances – particularly that of Joy Fernandes as Botton – and hailed Supple’s production as definitive.
- by Caroline Ansdell