A Midsummer Night's Dream At The Lyric

A Midsummer Night's Dream At The Lyric

Exciting cultural news on the riverside as the Lyric Theatre prepares to mount a new production of what is possibly Shakespeare’s favourite play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by the river. Regent’s Park, eat your heart out as the theatre is deploying the bosky site currently a car park as a new open air theatre. Apparently the original Dublin architects always intended the lozenge shaped space as an extension to the revamped theatre.

What can we expect from Jimmy Fay’s Dream? The Artistic Director of the Lyric hasn’t yet revealed his blueprint but word has it on the street, Ridgeway Street, that this will be a groundbreaking summer’s entertainment within the City Council’s Belfast 2024 initiative. Claire Murray, Head of Development and Marketing, comments: “ We’re using a slightly cut text that remains true to the original. Jimmy Fay has said he will keep the ‘hard edges’ of Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This is good news as it isn’t simply a sunny romp in the park but a drama about the lunacy ad sheer, dangerous madness of love. There is a line Shakespeare has which sums this up, about the ‘lunatic’s, the lover’s and the poet’s’ imaginations being of the same substance all compact.

Word on Ridgeway Street has it that the production will also be gender fluid. This opens up many interesting possibilities and you can’t help wondering whether one of the pairs of lovers might be LGBT plus, as Helena the beanpole figure would make a decent boy and after all, Shakespeare used clean shaven lads in his female roles. But that’s my speculation.

There is even the question of cross species passion in the Dream when Titania falls for Bottom, even after he has been transformed into an ass (both senses). Hee haw!

In terms of community involvement, Beyond Skin provide the musical accompaniment and David Calvert’s brilliant group of differently abled youngsters will provide the fairy troupe.

I am looking forward to a brittle, potentially quite wicked take on Midsummer Night’s Dream as Puck isn’t a charming fellow and the only reason Jack shall have Jill and all should be finally well is that one mortal remains under the influence of his love drug.

But as Robin Goodfellow, aka Puck, sums it all up

If we shadows have offended/Think but this, and all is mended./That you have but slumbered here/While these visions did appear…

Tickets are on sale now, so book your seats for the grassy Knoll and an insight into the key emotion.

Jane Hardy

Lyric Theatre,

4-7 July 2024

Tel 02890381081


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.