A Midsummer Night¡¯s Dream
by William Shakespeare
China Tour Produced by TNT Theatre Britain
Show: A Midsummer Night¡¯s Dream
(Performed in English with Chinese subtitles£©
Production Company: TNT Theatre Britain
May 10, 11, 12, 2007 at 7pm at Centenary Hall of Peking University
A Midsummer Night¡¯s Dream
Shakespeare¡¯s most popular comedy deserves its reputation, for here the ¡°lunatic, the lover and the poet¡± combine with the magical world to create a perfect mix of comedy and romance. The play was written in 1596 as a celebration of a marriage and remains a timeless exploration of love in all its wonder and foolishness. It is also a fertility rite and a blessing on the children that love will spawn. Its conflict is rooted in the battle of the sexes. Our production begins by dramatising the conquest of the Amazon Queen by Theseus and links the final comedy of Pyramus and Thisby to the drama. The fairy wood is a dangerous place, dangerous and exciting in the same way that Theseus¡¯s Athens is dangerous and sterile. Shakespeare happily mixes traditional English spirits with classical heroes and fantastic creatures. What unites these traditions is paganism and that energy lies at the root of our production. Bottom is perhaps Shakespeare¡¯s greatest clown. In our production he will be played not just as a man consumed by vanity, but as a man trying to understand love without understanding himself.
The production will combine music, dance and song with powerful conflict that demonstrates not just the joy but also the pain and madness of love. The play is full of energy and that energy will be released through more than words. Too often the play becomes an excuse for easy laughter and is neither believable nor are its themes and characters united. We will attempt to unify the themes and characters and link the serious with the comic to create an original but faithful version of Shakespeare¡¯s finest comedy.
TNT theatre was founded in 1980 in Britain and since has established itself as one of the most popular international touring theatre companies in the world. Last season alone the company produced seven productions in almost thirty countries worldwide, ranging from Shakespeare classics such as ROMEO & JULIET to their own new play HITLER KILLED MY CANARY, from works by contemporary artists such as Paul Auster¡¯s MOON PALACE to the classic seasonal show: Dickens¡¯ CHRISTMAS CAROL. Since 1993 the company has been in collaboration with the American Drama Group Europe. The artistic director of TNT is Paul Stebbings, whose work has won many awards at, for example, the Munich Biennale, the Edinburgh Festival, the Tehran Festival and from the government of Singapore. Other notable festivals in which the company has participated are the International Off-Broadway Festival in New York, the Tokyo International Theatre festival and the summer festival of the British National Theatre. TNT has also collaborated on co-productions with major venues such as the Athens Concert Hall and the St Petersburg State Comedy Theatre.
The company style aims to integrate all the performing arts. TNT productions always include a specially commissioned score by a leading composer. The director always works with a choreographer and the ensemble actors are chosen for their ability to cross the disciplines of theatre, music and dance.
Astonishingly inventive and wonderfully unpredictable, their visual inventiveness defies description.¡± - THE SCOTSMAN, Edinburgh Festival
¡°TNT embodies all the qualities of British theatre.¡±- SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, Munich
¡°Touring theatre at its best¡±. - SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, Hong Kong
¡°Highly effective and charismatic theatre.¡± - VILLAGE VOICE, New York.
¡°If young people need to be persuaded to go to the theatre this is the company to see.¡± - SUDKURIER, Germany
¡°The most entertaining play at this year's festival.¡± - THE LIST, Edinburgh.
International Tour of TNT Theatre
TNT has toured to almost every corner of Britain, from London's National theatre to Scottish village halls. The company has received regular subsidy from the Arts Council of Britain and the British Council. TNT's music theatre version of Shakespeare's KING LEAR recently toured the UK to an outstanding critical reception.
TNT, in collaboration with ADGE has dominated English language theatre in Germany since 1993 giving over 500 performances a year.
TNT gives some fifty performances a year in major theatres of Switzerland and Austria.
TNT has been touring Japan since 1992 and has given more foreign language performances in more venues than any other non-Japanese company.
TNT is the only English Language theatre to perform regularly in major theatres nationwide in France.
TNT has toured Scandinavia since 1986 and the summer castle tour is particularly successful.
TNT's first foreign performance was in Amsterdam, Holland in 1981. This has evolved into a regular circuit in Belgium and Luxembourg, where they are the leading foreign theatre ensemble.
TNT works in high profile venues and festivals with the cooperation of the Athens Concert Hall, and the Volos Centre for Music Theatre of Greece.
TNT presents on average 12 weeks of performances a year in the Czech Republic and performed in Slovakia in 2004 and 2005. The company has been toured regularly in Poland from 1989 until 2007.
TNT toured Russia from 1990 ¨C 1997, and toured Ukraine twice, being the first foreign theatre company to perform in several Ukrainian theatres since the Revolution.
TNT performs annually in the Gulf states of Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai. At the Fajr Festival in Tehran (the Muslim World's largest Arts Festival) TNT won first prize for HAMLET in 2004. 3000 people saw HAMLET in Iran and 2000 visited MACBETH in Kuwait.
TNT has performed in either Singapore or Hong Kong every year since 1994, and received Singapore National Youth Arts Achievement award in 2004.
TNT has presented theatre on two occasions in the USA. In 2006 TNT toured to Central America sponsored by Costa Rica's Cafe Britt. A tour of MACBETH is planned in autumn 2007 and two co-productions in Costa Rica and Peru are under way.
TNT's first performances in China mainland were given in November 2005 when MACBETH was presented in Shanghai at the Dramatic Arts Centre. In March 2007 TNT toured Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou with Oliver Twist.