Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director Tom Morris and Cape Town’s Handspring Puppet Company previously collaborated on the Tony-Award winning phenomenon War Horse. They re-unite for this extraordinary production.
Dale Franzen, Director of The Broad Stage, says A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the perfect play for the Handspring treatment:
“The play has illusion at its heart and the wonderful puppetry heightens the magical stirrings and transformations. This is a delightful production, a riotous comedy in which anything can come to life.”
The play interweaves the lives of lovers, actors, friends, foes, and fairies. It is about love, transformation and survival in a place where the mystical presence of fairies isn’t mere superstition, but magic lore encoded in the routines of a community living on the edge.
The production is visually stunning, blending live actors, puppets and keenly choreographed movement that breathe life into everyday inanimate objects.
The puppetry involves a huge range of ground-breaking techniques and variety of creations – from the smallest mechanical creatures to the huge god-like masks and limbs that represent Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the Fairies.
Bristol Old Vic Artistic Director Tom Morris says Handspring is “…the greatest puppet company in the world … it’s a huge thrill to be able to invite them to collaborate with us on this experimental version of Shakespeare’s sexiest and most magical comedy.”
Bristol Old Vic
Bristol Old Vic is a British theatre company founded in 1946. Its home is the recently refurbished Georgian Theatre, built in 1766 and the longest continuously-running theatre in the UK. The company’s mission is to create pioneering twenty-first century theatre in partnership with the people of Bristol; inspired by the history and magical design of the most beautiful playhouse in the country,This production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream marks a significant step forward for Bristol Old Vic and its ongoing ambition to collaborate with world-class artists to originate work of international impact. Following its run in Bristol in 2013, the production transferred to the Spoleto Festival USA and then the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven. It is touring to the Hong Kong Arts Festival in Feb 2014 where it has already sold out.
Handspring Puppet Company
Handspring Puppet Company is a puppetry, performance, and design company that is based in Cape Town, South Africa. It is widely recognized as South Africa’s pre-eminent puppet theatre company and spans three decades of creating theatre for adults and children. The run-away hit play War Horse has established Handspring as one of the most important puppet companies in the world. www.handspringpuppet.co.za
About The Broad Stage
Under the leadership of Director Dale Franzen and Artistic Chair Dustin Hoffman, The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center opened its doors in October 2008. Inspired by Italian “horseshoe” theaters, yet conceived in an absolutely contemporary vernacular, is a 499-seat house allowing eye contact with artists from the boxes to the back row–forging a new kind of artist and audience experience in Los Angeles. Theater shows, dance, film, operas, musicals, symphony and chamber orchestras are presented on one of the city’s largest proscenium stages. In addition to The Broad Stage, The Edye Second Space, a smaller black box theater, presents new, developing and innovative work in theater, music and dance as part of the Under the Radar Series.