Tim Supple's A Midsummer Night's Dream brought the warmth and rich diversity of India to England.

An outdoors performance of Tim Supple's 2006 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream
© RSC – Image Licensing

This Dash Arts production was commissioned by the British Council and toured India before being staged in the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2006 as part of our Complete Works Festival.

Supple put together a company of actors with a wide range of backgrounds and skills - from different areas of India, with different languages and skills, both traditional and modern - to create a show which transported the audience. From the first moments when the actors tore through the papered scaffolding set and churned up the red earth floor, India was brought to life in Stratford.

Shakespeare's text was spoken in the original English plus faithful translations in six Indian languages. There was no need for sub-titles - the language retained its beauty in all the languages.

The fairies were athletic sprites who performed aerial stunts on the scaffolding and lengths of fabric hung from the ceiling. The Changeling Boy was represented by a young actor.

Bottom's transformation was marked by the addition of a large set of donkey ears and he was swept up Titania's bower of silks.


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