New Shakespeare production is a dream
Terra Nova Productions, Northern Ireland’s only intercultural theatre company, is bringing their innovative and game-changing approach to one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies to Ards and North Down.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will feature a range of diverse communities from across the borough performing in a transformed Queen’s Hall, Newtownards, in a bold, engaging, magical intercultural theatrical event, from May 2-5.
Supported by the European Union’s PEACE Programme, the Dream Project celebrates the diverse range of cultures and classes across the borough. It will use ambitious theatre to encourage cultural diversity, understanding and cohesion between communities, pulling everyone into the challenge of staging a large-scale multifaceted extravaganza. Match-funding for this project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.
Canadian Artistic Director of Terra Nova Productions Andrea Montgomery has made bold choices in staging this far-from-traditional production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has flipped the gender of various roles and reached out to friends and colleagues across the UK arts scene to cast outstanding black actors alongside exciting local talent. She has cracked open the play: the fairy world showcases improvised dance ‘rumbles’ between magical gangs, south American salsa crops up at the play’s royal wedding, and a newly created court masque features some of the best text from across Shakespeare’s entire cannon. Bottom and the clodhopping mechanicals have been transformed into Bottom and a hilarious group of Women’s Institute ladies, played by women from across the Ards and North Down borough.