Midsummer night’s picnic

Director Glenn Elston and the Australian Shakespeare Company have been performing in gardens all over the country since 1987. Their first production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was in 1988 and they are celebrating 25 years of Shakespeare Under the Stars with a new production in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

These outdoor shows are all about being in a garden and indulging in a midsummer night’s picnic with friends and strangers as bats fly overhead and a story is told. A story with cute-as-a-button fairies, an a abumdance of entendre and pun, and easy audience participation. It’s not capital S Shakespeare; it’s sharing one of Bill’s favourite yarns with a few cuts and a few extras for extra fun.

With a design that uses the garden’s trees, gorgeous costumes and a delightful (mostly) young cast, it’s a perfect first Shakespeare for kids or friends who think that Shakespeare is dull or too hard to understand.

From a family outing you’ll want to make a tradition to a first date that’ll guarantee a starlight kiss, a night in the park doesn’t get much better than this. Just remember to bring a picnic rug (although chairs are available to hire), an umbrella (because it is Melbourne), enough fizz to last two and a half hours and some extra money to buy an ice cream.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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