‘On such a night as this’, what better things could there be to do in Lancaster around the Summer Solstice than to treat yourself to a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the city’s mediæval Castle?
This striking, all-local performance of Shakespeare’s well-loved comedy was a joint venture between Lancaster University and Lancaster Castle. Staged in the vast Courtyard, there were separate playing areas, suitably and simply decorated.
The distinctive and ancient setting was the first impression that struck the capacity audience, which was quick to settle down on picnic rugs or chairs and open their hampers to dig out suitable, summery refreshment.
The action was interspersed with evocative ditties from Alison Findlay’s Clàrsach (Scottish Harp), David Findlay’s English Concertina, Liz Bell’s viola and Duncan Bell’s Border Pipes (like traditional Northumberland Pipes).
With the mischievous, enigmatic Puck (Sammi Searle) and various androgynous fairies wreaking magical mayhem on the four adolescent lovers (Eleanor Kirby, Alexander Marlow, Rachel Mellor and Alexander Varey), costumes, by James McCowan and Christina Horsepool, were simple and striking.
The sell-out crowd was utterly enthralled from start to finish.