A Midsummer Night's Dream will start performances at the Comedy on 7 August 2003, initially booking for ten weeks. It follows the current revival of David Mamet's Sexual Perversity in Chicago - starring Minnie Driver, Matthew Perry, Hank Azaria and Kelly Reilly - which finishes its sold-out, three-month season on 2 August.
A Midsummer Night's Dream marks Propeller's second venture into the West End. The company made its West End debut last summer at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with Rose Rage, a two-part adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy, which was highly acclaimed and award-nominated.
A Midsummer Night's Dream features the same ensemble as Rose Rage: Tony Bell (Bottom), Dugald Bruce-Lockhart (Lysander), Richard Clothier (Titania), Emilio Doorgasingh (Hippolyta), Matt Flynn (Theseus), Robert Hands (Helena), Vince Leigh (Demetrius/Snout), Jonathan McGuiness (Hermia/Snug), Chris Myles (Quince/Egeus), Simon Scardifield (Puck/Starveling), Guy Williams (Oberon) and Jules Werner (Flute). Hall directs, with design once again care of Michael Pavelka and lighting by Ben Ormerod.
The production is currently on a UK regional tour which is followed with a stint, from 16 to 23 June 2003, at the international Shakespeare Festival in Ness, Germany (See News, 4 Feb 2003). It first opened in February at the company's home venue, the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, where Hall has premiered Propeller's other productions of Shakespeare's Henry V, Othello, The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night.
Edward Hall, son of Sir Peter Hall, has established a formidable reputation for his handling of the bard's work elsewhere as well. For the Royal Shakespeare Company, his productions have included Two Gentlemen of Verona, Henry VI and Julius Caesar; and, last year in the West End, his Macbeth with Sean Bean won the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Shakespearean Production.
Also this summer, Hall will make his National Theatre debut, along with his leading man Kenneth Branagh, with the revival of another David Mamet's play, 1982's Edmond, which is now confirmed to run from 17 July to 4 October 2003 (previews from 10 July) as part of the Travelex £10 season in the NT Olivier (See News, 19 Feb 2003).
- by Terri Paddock