The Latest Buzz From Backstage

silly_cute_cartoon_fly_character_Fly on the Wall – Midsummers Night’s Dream

Rehearsals are underway with the whole cast , well mostly. They have run through the play twice now and it’s shaping up nicely. Enough so that soon they will have five days off whilst the Ironstone Chamber Musical Festival is on. This is because A) it’s also being held in our wonderful church, B) Tessa Howell with her ole man Chris (remember he’s the terribly attractive one) are also organising that little event! No mean feat but then Tessa was prepared to wait for her young lovers to do their GCSE’s and you can see why: they were worth the wait.

Here’s the latest fly-on-the-wall titillating notes written as they have unfolded in each rehearsal………..  (with more to follow shortly no doubt from that salacious gossip fly )

Tuesday 1st September – Act 1 notes

  • Stage builder “Magic Mike”  was found building  the Bower with extra reinforcement for the goings on between Titiania and Bottom.
  • Wardrobe wizard “Transformational Tracey” was fitting up that Oberon so you could see his chest amongst other things.
  • 2nd director and prompt “Lucky Louise” was doing her thing very well and even stood in for a young man.
  • The costume duo  “The Alisons” have been cutting off, stitching up and making good the fairy outfits as well enjoying the fittings with other cast members .
  • The Fairies flounced their stuff and made mischief of their Queen’s new love interest
  • Being back stage at the time I didn’t see much of the lovers’ scenes, nor Oberon or Mechanicals but I hear there was a lot of crotch grabbing (and shocked gasps….)

Friday 4th Sept – Act 2 notes

  • Those young males lovers are fizzing with testosterone, and visibly scaring the older ladies.
  • As for those (no so ) young ladies… well they are a sassy pair all sweetness and light, then fur flying cat fighting, all very mesmerising.
  • Talking of cats there were a few being strangled as the Queen of the fairies led the singing unaccompanied.
  • We have a new addition to the cast – a serving wench. She doesn’t have to say a word, her character is perfectly drawn with her very obvious seasoned sashaying and experience showing through.
  • The mechanicals are a triumph in casting, just too funny, especially when they are not supposed to be. That “chink” in the wall has a bit of a attitude; not very courteous. Their dancing is a joy to behold.
  • Thisbe got so carried away with her (his) “a feared” departure that s(he) slid on the mat and practically did a bounce into backstage
  • Oberon, the consummate professional, carried on rehearsing his lines backstage, including all the moves much to the agog giggling fairies.
  • The Fairies think he (Oberon) is quite scary (so does his Queen and Puck) when he gets into full swing, a real force to be reckoned with.
  • Puck was enjoying watching “their fond pageant see” from the pulpit and was laughing at “what fools these mortals be”.

Sunday 6th September – Act 1 & 2 The whole play

  • Well what a 1st full run through! Lots of drama on and off stage with the fairies having to deal with one of their fairy attendants nose bleed.
  • Good to see the whole play in one go as the shape of it appears and the subtleties of plot and the way Tessa has interpreted it unfolds.
  • All of which is very nicely explained in a synopsis that Tessa has written; I saw it in the programme as I buzzed by.
  • The Mechanicals are getting funnier and funnier, just looking at them makes me laugh with some subtle and not-so-subtle performances by both the young and older cast, a real treat to behold.
  • Now those young (mostly) lovers are heating up as they become secure with their lines and start to really through themselves into it.
  • I am getting a bit concerned for Hermia, as she gets violently thrown across the stage, and I wasn’t sure if the limp afterward was meant to carry on.
  • As for those two approaching their nuptial hour (Theseus and Hippolyta) they seem very familiar with each other. You can tell that he in particular has taken very easily to lording it about and making merry, me thinks he may have had prior experience?
  • Young Puck is starting to take more centre stage as she grows in confidence, and as the character requires, is a quick and lively imp.
  • Bottom has a large part (in the play) and is now “off script”, he is the only character that crosses into fairy land, and what a reception he gets!
  • That Queen only has eyes for him and is “much enamoured with his note and enthralled with his shape” as she vamps over him.
  • As for those fairies, they don’t need much encouragement to flounce around and flick their hair. They are quite mesmerising, especially when they sing their Queen to sleep.
  • So it’s shaping up and soon they will have a stage to rehearse on, piano accompaniment, and costumes to get to grips with, to make sure there are no wardrobe malfunctions.

Good news both acts are less than an hour, so with the interval it should be a done and dusted in two hours, leaving you wanting more! It is fast-paced, with speedy entrances and exits making the play fly. It’s such a romp through each scene that you have to be awake to take in what’s going on, not  something that usually “this fly” manages to do with Mr. Shakespeare.

*** Stop Press 123***

  1. The box office has reported high volume of ticket sales for Friday night (Friday 25th 7:00, Saturday 26th 2:00 & Sunday 27th 2:00)  so if you want to go then you had better get in quick…….
  2. Help wanted to transform the cast with make-up, no previous experience required
  3. The stage is struck and so the countdown begins

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