Started working creatively on the MSND text last night with members of STP.
A good group of youth – full of “vim and vigour” and many no doubt, ready for “new Firefly” challenge.
But as one famous MND quote goes…
” the course of true love never does run smooth ”
(And for us …the course of a dance Impro session …)
Cos unfortunately one youthful lovely member of the group – took a creative topple over a chair and found himself grounded and very sore ” for much of the remaining workshop.
A little drama ensued , but ” Alls we’ll that Ends well” and I am pleased to repot that ” Mr topple ” is not badly injured and recovering well today – a brave sole indeed and one who took his undoubted discomfort – at the end of last night’s very productive session – with real ” class”.
Just proving that metaphorical topples , tumbles, stumbles and falls are all part of “the drama mill” in PACE that make us stronger individuals , better able to cope with what life throws at us.
Sometimes we need to stumble and fall – on our way to better performance – to realise that really “good drama” comes from the strength to own up to our weaknesses and not just keep hiding them under a pretend face of ” getting” things.
STP have much to learn , but they know this and are just eager to do so …refreshing to work with this kind of energy for drama – and that my PACE friends is half the creative battle in better Youth Theatre.
Now before you all get “het up” and think that any casting took place last night – ” be of goodly cheer ” and know that all we did was have some crazy fun with the “summary of the plot” of Shakespeare’s classic tale of Love , Magic and the Mayhem of Misunderstandings.
I thought it might also be useful for you to see the plot summation we worked on – so you can have some idea of what may happen in the way we translate it to our ” PACE stage ‘
This is a great play and one I was telling the group last night that they believe Shakespeare actually wrote ( oooo controversy – see the film ‘Anonymous’for details )
In fact if you are going to get involved in this show at all – try to see anything ” Shakespeare”.
Whether it is :
Shakespeare in Love – the film
Anonymous – the film
Or the rather good Hollywood ” movie” version of a Midsummer Nights Dream – with Michele Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline (see blog picture featured image )
Of course you could just read the play! ( shock ! horror ! and a step too far? )
If reading is ” not your thing ” and you can’t quite get round to the film version – then here at least is the “plot summary” of Midsummer ( necessary really to get the play and the idea of how we will translate the characters into our ARCADIAN setting)
Kudos to STP’s Rebekah Close for actually looking up the word ARCADIA and seeing that it meant ” a Greek paradise ” – and fitting really that we end the creative year, in what has been kick started by a whole lot of Greek Drama.
I love it when things come full circle – feeling complete is so much better than leaving things ” unended” – don’t you agree?
Audition workshop details and speeches will be emailed out soon – you will have to act a speech possibly – demand for parts is high – remember what I always say – acting is “chemistry” – you have to get a reaction.
Don’t go for anything unless you can make me passionately react to your performance.
The lovers – need passion and honesty
The mechanicals – need wit and style and “Bottom” – needs pomp, circumstance and bravado
Oberon and Titania – need sizzle !!! Looking for a connection between two individuals that is “made in fairy heaven”
Puck needs electricity and mania – leaping and almost constantly in ” flight ” across the stage ( so loads and loads of energy )
The Royals need – grace , elegance and style – a certain ” je ne sais quoi ”
The fairies need to be inhibitionless! Out of this world and not ” modern ” or predictable
The Casting of this play is ” Escrito in Estella ” (as the Gypsies say …) Name of an old Verona show…if I am not mistaken.
Oh yes – you do know I have set this in a fairground now ? ( Arcadia – Arcade?) Just in case you are even more confused than this post is bound to make you ?
In the meantime – happy reading
Madame Luna x
Ps- the Arcadia character names and changes always appear in brackets – the Shakespeare version appears first.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – (a quick summary)
comedy , magic, love
Athens ( ArcAdia – Fairground Theme Park )
The Wood – (the Fair)
The Royals ( The Roys)
Theseus – Duke of Athens – (Theo Roy)
Hippolyta – Queen of the Amazons – betrothed to Theseus – (Polly McQueen)
Egeus – Father to Hermia – (Gus – Mia ‘s step brother )
Court Attendant ( the narrator )
Philostrate – master of the revels to Theseus – (Pip and the Pipstrels)
The Lovers – ( teenage sweethearts )
Hermia – (Mia)
Lysander – (Sandy )
Helena – (Elena )
Demetrius – ( Dem)
The Fairies – ( the gypsies travellers )
Oberon – King of the Fairies ( Bron- Roma Gypsy. King of the Rides )
Titania – Queen of the Fairies – ( Anya – Romanchal Gypsy – Queen of Fortunes )
Puck – Robin Goodfellow – Servant to Oberon ( Luck)
Titania’s attendants – (Gypsy Sisters )
Peasblossom – ( PB )
Cobweb – (Cob)
Mustard Seed – (Muzz)
The Rude Mechanicals ( fairground roustabouts )
Nick Bottom – (Billy Botts)
Peter quince – (Pete)
Francis Flute – (Franki)
Tom Snout – (Tam)
Snug – (Guns)
Robin Starveling – (Bob)
Extras – attendants and fairies ( carnival workers and travellers and singers )
1 Helena loves Demetrius
2 Demetrius once slept with Helena, but now loves Hermia
3 Hermia madly loves Lysander
4 Lysander madly loves her back
5 Helena is envious of Hermia because of the attention she gets from both men and because she loves Demetrius
6 Egeus asks Theseus to make Hermia marry Demetrius according to Athenian Law ( he promised Hermia to him as a bride before)
7 Theseus gives Hermia 4 days to consider her options : marry Demetrius , live rest of life in a nunnery or a get a death sentence for disobeying her father
8 Overwrought – Hermia and Lysander elope to the nearby forest
9 Meanwhile …in the Forest …Oberon and Titania are arguing over a young boy whom Titania adopted and Oberon wants as part of his court – Titania will not give up the changeling child ( half mortal / half fairy ) and has withheld her love and favours from Oberon because he is so insistent she give him up. She leaves the forest with her fairies and he is left – mad at her.
10 Oberon in a jealous mood instructs Puck to go and get him a rare flower whose juice is magic and when sprinkled on lovers eyes makes the person fall in love with the first thing they see – he then takes pleasure in sprinkling it in Titania’s eye while she sleeps – so that when she wakes she will fall in love with the first creature
she sees. ( one that will cause her some humiliation )
11 Helena and Demetrius enter the forest chasing after Lysander and Hermia. Demetrius is still being horrible to Helena
12 Oberon overhears Demetruis reject Helena’ s love sick pleas to him.
13 Oberon takes pity on Helena when he sees her so upset
14 He calls Puck and tells him to give Demetrius the ” love drops ” from the flower as well – so that he will fall for her too.
15 Puck wanders the forest and finds Hermia and Lysander who have stopped for a nap and gone to sleep
16 Puck gets a bit confused and puts the “love drops” in Lysander’s eyes instead
17 Lysander wakes up and immediately sees Helena – who has just wandered in – and falls madly in love with her.
18 Helena thinks he is mocking her and runs away – he rushes after her declaring undying love for her. Abandoning Hermia still asleep on the ground
19 Hermia wakes to find Lysander gone and runs after him – worried something has happened to him
20 She finds him and hears Lysander declaring love for Helena and is stunned
21 Helena thinks they are all taking the Mickey out of her for a bad joke – Hermia and Helena fall out .
22 Demetruis meanwhile is still pursuing Hermia – oblivious to it all.
23 Nearby a group of Athenian craftsmen are rehearsing a production of a play called ” Pyramus and Thisbe ” to be acted at the Duke Theseus’ wedding to Hippolyta
24 Nick Bottom ( the weaver) is being loud and annoying during the rehearsal and they can’t seem to rehearse as he wants to play all the parts. They take a break and Bottom goes off in a huff.
25 Puck casts a spell on Bottom giving him the head of an ass – he returns to the rehearsal and scares off his fellow actors – he goes to sleep .Titania is asleep in her flowery fairy bower nearby.
26 Puck then organises things so that when Titania wakes she sees Bottom and falls in love with an ass. He thinks Oberon will be pleased with him.
27 Titania wakes first and sees Bottom and falls in love and sings to him . Bottom wakes to find himself being fawned over by the fairy queen and her attendants and enjoys the attention – oblivious to the ass head he wears
28 Oberon watches the humiliation of his queen , with Puck , nearby with relish – payback for her not giving up the boy to her – but he is still not happy with Puck , that he has mixed up the lovers even more and feels bad.
29 He puts the love potion himself in Demetrius’s eye and makes sure that Helena is the first person he sees when he wakes.
30 Helena is unconvinced and still thinks they both mock her for their personal amusement
31 Oberon decides it is time to sort things out – he puts the four lovers back to sleep and gives the antidote to the love flower to Lysander and Titania – ensuring that when they wake each will love as they should.
32 Meanwhile Oberon and Titania make up again – Titania gave him the boy he wanted and Titania tells him of her strange dream loving an ass – they leave- o back in fairy love – Puck removes the head from Bottom.
33 The lovers awake and Lysander and Hermia are in love , Helena and Demetrius are in love
34 Theseus Hippolyta, Egeus discover the lovers in the forest – the story comes out of how they come to be here.
35 All return to Athens to make sense of what they thought was a strange dream
36 Bottom now ” headless” again meets up with his fellow actors, believing that he dreamt he had the head of a donkey – they perform the play ” Pyramus and Thisbe ” at the wedding feast which becomes the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta , Lysander and Hermia, Demetrius and Helena
37 The fairies enter with Oberon and Titania for one last song and dance
38 Puck ends the play , directly speaking to the audience , with the speech below
If we shadows have offended
Think but this, and all is mended –
That you have, but slumber’d here,
While these visions did appear
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend,
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long ;
Else the Puck a liar call:
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends