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Dream play in the Dene.

Byline: By Jennifer Bradbury

Next month Shakespeare will be brought to life in Jesmond Dene. Jennifer Bradbury has the details

Heartbreak Productions, "the UK's premier professional open-air touring company", will be transporting you into summer with their magical and joyous interpretation of Shake- speare's most enchanting comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In a brand new venture, Heartbreak is bringing this stunning production to city parks, including Jesmond Dene in Newcastle. In conjunction with the City Council and park rangers the company's show will be performing for 10 days giving more people the opportunity to indulge in a summer picnic and delightful evening's entertainment. There will also be children's workshops run by Heartbreak Productions.

"We really are very excited by this project," says Peter Mimmack, the artistic director. "We usually play one or two nights at a venue before moving on, so establishing ourselves in such a fantastic place will be a great joy. We're also looking forward to the half-day workshops: the children will get to experience dance, movement, fight techniques, masks and make-up."

The production toured throughout the country last year receiving exceptional plaudits from critics and audiences alike. "For hundreds of years, A Midsummer Night's Dream has been held in great affection by audiences both young and old ( its dark mystical qualities set against bawdy, rustic humour give it universal appeal," explains Peter. But in a bold departure from the standard fare, Heartbreak are plunging this production into the 21st Century ( no quaint, rustic yokels here.

In place is a band of up-to-date traders with not a doublet and hose nor an Elizabethan bodice in sight! This deceptively simple story of "such sweet thunder" will be accessible for any of today's audiences.

Peter Mimmack, director of last year's The Merry Wives of Windsor, 2002s Richard III, 2001s Taming of the Shrew and 1999s "welfth Night, will expertly bring out the essence of the play and the exceptional talents of a multi-skilled cast. Paul Barrett, the production's designer, has created powerful masks and innovative staging to transport the audience into the magical world of princes, paupers and fairies.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 26, 2004
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