Sherman Theatre announces a major new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Sherman Theatre aims to bring joy to audiences during these challenging times with a major new production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (14 – 29 October 2022), directed by Joe Murphy and with new Welsh language adaptations by Mari Izzard and Nia Morais.

The Sherman has assembled an exceptional Welsh and Wales-based cast for A Midsummer Night’s Dream which brings together familiar faces and established names alongside thrilling new talent: Dena Davies, Leah Gaffey, Sion Ifan, Hannah McPake, Lauren Morais, Tom Mumford, Sion Pritchard and Rebecca Wilson.

Two of Wales’ most exciting writers, Mari Izzard (HELA) and Sherman Writer in Residence Nia Morais (Crafangau / Claws) will offer fresh new perspectives on this evergreen classic with newly written adaptations in the Welsh language. Mari and Nia have created new dialogue for the fairies, and other characters whilst enchanted by the fairies.

Joe Murphy’s production promises to playfully upend expectations of this masterpiece including gender roles and sexuality. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed in English with the new Welsh language adaptations captioned at each performance.

Nia Morais said “I’m thrilled to be involved in this project as I have always wanted to work on a Shakespeare production. Adapting has been an exciting challenge and I can’t wait to watch the show!”

Mari Izzard said “After working on a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the RSC back in 2016, I knew that there was a beautiful bi-lingual version waiting to be explored inside this tale that we all know and love. I’m so excited to be bringing this to life with Nia and the team!”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the latest, and the first since 2019, in Sherman Theatre’s longstanding series of autumn classic productions which present bold new takes on much-loved plays. This production promises all of the magic audiences have come to expect from A Midsummer Night’s Dream whilst offering new insights and opportunities to think about our world now.

Joe said “Few plays have the capacity to bring as much joy to audiences as A Midsummer Night’s Dream; it’s the play we all need right now. I am so excited by the new perspectives Mari and Nia have brought to the play and I can’t wait to start working with this sensational Welsh and Wales-based cast and creative team.”

Dena Davies will make her professional stage debut as Hermia and Leah Gaffey (Little Red Riding Hood, Sherman Theatre; Llyfr Glas Nebo, Frân Wen) will play Puck. Sion Ifan (Hidden / Craith, S4C / BBC; Byw Celwydd, S4C) will appear as Oberon / Theseus and Hannah McPake (A Christmas Carol, Alice in Wonderland, Sherman Theatre) returns to the Sherman in the role of Peter Quince.

Lauren Morais (Maryland, Sherman Theatre; Y Gyfrinach, S4C) will make her professional stage debut as Lysanna. Tom Mumford (Petula, National Theatre Wales / Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru / August012; Carmen, Welsh National Opera) joins the cast as Demetrius and Sion Pritchard (Petula, NTW / Theatr Gen/August012; Hidden / Craith, S4C / BBC) will play Bottom / Egeus. Rebecca Wilson (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, National Theatre / Frantic Assembly – UK & Ireland tour) takes the role of Helena.

Members of the Sherman’s non-professional theatre group, Sherman Players, will be joining the company as the other Mechanicals. Final casting is to be announced.

The production will be directed by Sherman Theatre Artistic Director Joe Murphy (A Christmas Carol, A Hero of the People, Sherman Theatre). He will be joined by a Welsh speaking Assistant Director, to be announced. Sherman Theatre Literary Manager Branwen Davies is Welsh Language Dramaturg for the production.

Also joining Joe will be Elin Steele (A Hero of the People, The Merthyr Stigmatist, Sherman Theatre) as Designer and Eädyth Crawford (Crafangau / Claws, The Merthyr Stigmatist, Sherman Theatre) as Composer. Ian Barnard (A Christmas Carol, The Merthyr Stigmatist, Sherman Theatre) will be Sound Designer and Andy Pike (Dance to the Bone, A Christmas Carol, Sherman Theatre) returns to the Sherman as Lighting and Projection Designer.

In the patriarchal city, you are told who you get to love. Hermia loves Lysanna but is being forced to marry Demetrius. Whilst Hermia’s friend Helena secretly adores Demetrius. Escaping into the woods, these four young people find a world without rules and where anything is possible.

Shining a fresh light on Shakespeare’s hilarious tale of desire, the Sherman’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is set to be a joyous and uplifting theatrical experience.

To ensure that the cost of tickets is in reach of as many people as possible, the Sherman is introducing a new scheme, Pay What You Can Previews, which will allow audiences to choose how much they are able to pay for tickets.

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