This marvellous musical explodes in a joyous celebration of Shakespeare’s classic comedy – full of mischief and mayhem, misunderstandings & magic potion mix-ups, as kings & queens, humble workers, fairies, parents & kids all chase their dreams.
The most stunning songs & the best script in our catalogue. This show is simply… MAGIC!
It is the wedding day of Theseus, Duke of Athens and Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons. They are to be married under the Midsummer Moon that night. Theseus is holding court as usual, but on this day will hear only cases of quarrelling lovers (an old custom). Old Egeus drags his rebellious daughter, Hermia, to the Duke. He is furious that she will not marry Demetrius, the boy he has picked out for her. She insists that she should be able to marry her own choice, Lysander. All are present and the quarrelling begins. It seems that Demetrius was going with Helena, Hermia’s friend, but then switched his attentions to Hermia when he saw her with Lysander, her true love. The Duke finally silences the argument by telling Hermia to obey her father or face being grounded for life. When the Royals exit, Hermia and Lysander resolve to sneak off to the Woods, sleep there the night and then make their escape to freedom. Hermia makes the mistake of telling Helena of her plan.
In this act, we also meet a group of bumbling but well-meaning Workers who assemble to rehearse a little play (The Tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe) to present that night for the Duke & Queen as a wedding present. It becomes clear that this little play is not going to be the world’s best drama.
We are now in the Woods, at night, when the fairies (unseen by humans) are abroad. We meet Fairy King, Oberon and Fairy Queen, Titania … and the King’s mischievous fairy, Puck. The King and Queen are arguing over possession a Changeling Child. The Queen will not give him up and the King decides to teach her a lesson. He sends Puck to find a secret flower that possesses love magic. He intends to squeeze a few drops into the Queen’s eyes as she sleeps, so that she will fall in love with the first thing she sees when she wakes.
Meanwhile Helena has brought Demetrius to the Woods, to show him where Hermia and Lysander are. She thinks that by doing this he will see how brave she is and want her back. But Demetrius dismisses her callously. This is watched by Oberon, who decides that Demetrius needs a lesson. When Puck returns with the flowers, Oberon instructs him to look for an Athenian boy and girl and squeeze some drops into the boy’s eyes when he is asleep. Oberon then goes to the sleeping Queen and administers the drops.
Also to the Woods come Hermia and Lysander. They both lie down and fall asleep, exhausted from their flight. Puck comes upon them, and, believing them to be the Athenians described by Oberon, administers drops to Lysander.
Meanwhile, Demetrius has given Helen the slip and she wanders through the Woods, coming across the sleeping Lysander. She wakes him and … he immediately falls in love with her. He chases after her. Hermia awakens and finds Lysander gone and goes searching.
Now the Workers enter, to have a moonlight rehearsal before they present their play. Bottom, the weaver, is extremely bossy and thinks he knows how every part of the play should go. Puck comes upon them and thinks to himself what a donkey Bottom is being. Then a mischievous idea occurs to him. With a magic spell, he gives Bottom a donkey’s head. This scares off the other workers and Bottom is scared. The noise he makes wakens the Fairy Queen and … she immediately falls in love with him.
When Oberon realises that Puck has administered the potion to the wrong Athenian he finds a sleeping Demetrius and administers the drops himself. But Lysander enters, chasing Helena and Demetrius wakes and … immediately falls in love with Helena.
Now both boys are fighting over Helena and when Hermia arrives she is confused (as is Helena). Oberon causes the moon to black out and Puck leads the boys on a merry chase until they both tire and fall asleep, whereupon he administers an antidote.
Oberon and Puck now go to the sleeping Queen and take the baby Changeling. But it has a dirty nappy and the King decides to revue his plan. So he administers the antidote and awakens the Queen. He returns the baby and they reconcile. They hear the Horn of Dawn and all fairies return to the spirit world.
The Duke and Queen arrive with their wedding party, ready to be married and Egeus rushes in to say that Hermia is missing. But then they see Hermia, Helena, Lysander and Demetrius all sleeping soundly. When they are awakened, Demetrius realises that he loves Helena and so all three couples are married.
The happy proceedings are interrupted by the Workers, who present their truly aweful, but hilarious play.
Puck enters to explain that it is all but a midsummer night’s Dream!