This week marks 50 years since the premiere of Peter Brook's innovative production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

On 27 August 1970, Peter Brook premiered his radical version of A Midsummer Night's Dream at a press night in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Fifty years later, the production is still remembered for its performances -  including Ben Kingsley as Demetrius opposite Frances de la Tour as Helena - and the innovative set design by Sally Jacobs, who sadly passed away at the start of August. Her minimalist 'white box' set was contrasted by the bright silk costumes, and the show featured actors performing from trapezes and even on stilts.

After its run in Stratford, the show went on a North American tour in 1971, followed by a world tour in 1972/3, including performances in Japan and Australia. The tour saw many cast changes, but retained Jacobs' stark set design and the music of Felix Mendelssohn and Richard Peaslee.

Browse our gallery of production photos to get a taste of this memorable production:

Find out more

You can dig deeper into Peter Brook's production and this play with these resources:

  • Our casebook for the show features more images and information, as well as links to reviews
  • Take a look at the stage history of the play, including details of the 1914 Harley Granville-Barker production that inspired Brook
  • Read an extract from Brook's book about theatre making on the Guardian website
  • Find out more about Sally Jacobs' career in this Guardian obituary
  • Younger audiences can learn more about the language, plot and productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream on the Shakespeare Learning Zone

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