Up the Rabbit Warren and into the Forest.

We’ve asked Vincent Warren to share some insights about his upcoming production “The Athenian Dream” based on the wonderful “A Midsummer Nights Dream” by William Shakespeare.

Why Shakespeare?

For me it is not so much Shakespeare that I am interested in but all plays from the period in which he was writing. Much of Shakespeare’s plays and that of his contemporaries were performed in open air spaces to a wide range of different audiences from different aspects of society. There was no electricity for lighting or sound in the Elizabethan and Jacobean theatres and the plays’ success depended largely on the story and the performers that brought it to life, engaging up close with people and often including them within the action.

What is your first memory of A Midsummer Nights Dream

It was the first Shakespeare play I studied at school. Our teacher Mr Palmer, an eccentric but wonderful English teacher, who was like a character from The Wind in The Willows decided that we would learn more through doing and made us act it out in the gardens of the school. It didn’t get performed but it was a lot of fun and we got out of the classroom for an hour.

As one of Shakespeare’s most popular play’s Midsummer is in continual rotation with many companies and is regularly performed. Why should audiences not miss this production?

I think that we take the inclusive spirit of the play and make it accessible to younger audiences and families. Through audience participation, creating original music, incorporating puppetry and movement, we allow the modern passing audiences of Hong Kong and Kowloon to instantly get a feel for the sense of wonder and fun that Shakespeare’s audiences felt.

Can you share any insights about the rehearsal process?

There is lots of laughter, mucking about and silly voices. We take what we do very seriously!

What are you most excited about with this production?

Introducing audiences to The Hong Kong Theatre Company and the wonderful and talented actors, musicians, choreographers and designers that make our shows so special.

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