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Act 1 Scene 1
Hippolyta Four days will quickly steep themselves in night; / Four nights will quickly dream away the time; And then the moon, like to a silver bow / New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night / Of our solemnities.
The production opens with a duel between two warriors. They take their masks off to reveal themselves as Theseus and Hippolyta who announce that they will be married in four days time. This is the first of many references in the play to the moon. In this production, their marriage is a marriage of equals - Hippolyta is marrying Theseus of her own free will.
Theseus - Miles RichardsonHippolyta - Brigitta Roy
Photo © RSC
Hermia So will I grow, so live, so die, my lord, / Ere I will my virgin patent up Unto his lordship, whose unwished yoke / My soul consents not to give sovereignty.
Hermia pleads with Theseus to be allowed to marry the man she loves, Lysander, rather than Demetrius, the man chosen by her father.
Hermia - Sinead KeenanTheseus - Miles RichardsonLysander - Trystan Gravelle (left)Egeus - Tom Hodgkins (right)
Act 2 Scene 1
Demetrius I will not stay thy questions; let me go: Or, if thou follow me, do not believe But I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
Demetrius reacts angrily to Helena who has chased him into the forest. Oberon is invisible to them.
Oberon - Joe Dixon (left)Helena - Caitlin Mottram Demetrius - Oscar Pearce (right)
Act 2 Scene 2
Lysander One turf shall serve as pillow for us both; One heart, one bed, two bosoms and one troth.
Hermia Nay, good Lysander; for my sake, my dear, Lie further off yet, do not lie so near.
Lysander and Hermia attempt to go to sleep in the forest.
Hermia - Sinead KeenanLysander - Trystan GravelleFairies (left to right) - Alice Barclay, Chris McGill, Bettrys Jones, Geoffrey Lumb, Stewart W Fraser, Peter Bankolé
Oberon What thou seest when thou dost wake, Do it for thy true-love take, Love and languish for his sake: Be it ounce, or cat, or bear, Pard, or boar with bristled hair, In thy eye that shall appear When thou wakest, it is thy dear: Wake when some vile thing is near.
Oberon squeezes the juice of a flower onto Titania's eyes as she sleeps in her bower.
Oberon - Joe Dixon (in silhouette)Titania - Amanda Harris
Hermia Lysander! what, removed? Lysander! lord! ...No? then I well perceive you all not nigh / Either death or you I'll find immediately.
Hermia wakes up in the forest, thinking she's being attacked by a snake, and discovers Lysander has disappeared.
Hermia - Sinead KeenanFairies - Alice Barclay, Bettrys Jones
Act 3 Scene 2
Oberon About the wood go swifter than the wind, And Helena of Athens look thou find: All fancy-sick she is and pale of cheer, With sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear: By some illusion see thou bring her here: I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.
Puck I go, I go; look how I go, Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.
Oberon instructs Puck to use magic to resolve the lovers' conflicts.
Oberon - Joe Dixon (standing)Puck - Jonathan Slinger (sitting)
Puck Up and down, up and down, I will lead them up and down: I am fear'd in field and town: Goblin, lead them up and down.
Puck and the fairies bewitch Lysander and Demetrius, moving them around like puppets before laying them down on the forest floor to sleep.
Puck - Jonathan Slinger (front)Lysander - Trystan Gravelle (top)Demetrius - Oscar Pearce (centre)Fairies (left to right) - Bettreyse Jones, Chris McGill, Stewart W Fraser, Peter Bankolé, Geoffrey Lumb (hidden) and Alice Barclay.
Hermia How low am I, thou painted maypole? speak;How low am I? I am not yet so low/ But that my nails can reach unto thine eyes.
The lovers fight in the forest.
(Left to right)Lysander - Trystan GravelleHelena - Caitlin MottramHermia - Sinead KeenanDemetrius - Oscar Pearce
Act 3 Scene 1
Mustardseed What's your will?
Bottom Nothing, good mounsieur, but to help Cavalery Cobweb to scratch. I must to the barber's, monsieur; for methinks I am marvellous hairy about the face; and I am such a tender ass, if my hair do but tickle me, I must scratch.
Bottom is attended by the fairies.
Bottom - Malcolm Storry (centre)Fairies (left to right) - Peter Bankolé, Chris McGill, Bettrys Jones (hidden), Alice Barclay, Bridgitta Roy (hidden), Geoffrey Lumb and Stewart W Fraser.
Act 4 Scene 1
Oberon See'st thou this sweet sight? Her dotage now I do begin to pity...
Oberon looks on as Titania sleeps next to Bottom.
Oberon - Joe Dixon (left)Bottom - Malcom Storry (in the trolley)Titania - Amanda Harris (sitting)
Bottom I will tell you everything, right as it feell out.
Bottom arrives at Quince's house to the delight of her friends, and promises to tell them everything that happened to him but first they have to go to the Duke's palace to present their play.
Left to right:Quince - Paul ChahidiStarveling - Patrick WaldronFlute - Jamie BallardBottom - Malcolm StorrySnout - David RogersSnug - Edward Clayton
Act 5 Scene 1
Bottom O wall, O sweet and lovely wall, Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!
The Mechanicals' short play turns out more comedy than tragedy...
(left to right)Thisbe/Flute - Jamie BallardWall/Snout - David RogersPyramus/Bottom - Malcolm Storry
Oberon Now, until the break of day, Through this house each fairy stray. To the best bride-bed will we, Which by us shall blessed be
Oberon and Titania appear with the Changeling Boy and the fairies to bless the 'house' and marriages.
Oberon - Joe DixonTitania - Amanda Harris
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