Dream casting announced for RSC digital project

Published: 15 June 2013
Reporter: Steve Orme

A group of returning RSC actors directed by artistic director Gregory Doran will perform the Royal Shakespeare Company’s one-off digital theatre project Midsummer Night’s Dreaming.

Over the Midsummer weekend (21 to 24 June) the RSC will be working in partnership with Google’s Creative Lab to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream in real time.

The story will be shared through photos, snippets and news stories online from the perspective of some lesser-known characters, as if it were happening in real life.

Actors will have a week’s rehearsal during which audiences will be able to follow the project online and gain an insight into its development.

Audiences can talk to the actors and at 7PM every day there will be a discussion with members of the project creative team.

RSC associate artist Joe Dixon returns in the role of Bottom which he played in Doran’s 2008 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Also reprising their roles from that production are Peter de Jersey as Oberon, Ricky Champ as Snout, Jim Hooper as Starveling and Mark Hadfield as Puck.

Paul Chahidi again plays Quince, a role he portrayed in Doran’s 2005 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

From Nancy Meckler’s 2011 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lucy Briggs-Owen is Helena and Felix Hayes Snug.

Joining them are Alex Gilbreath as Titania, Anneika Rose as Hermia, Mark Quartley as Lysander, Chris Lew Kum Hoi as Flute and Simon Manyonda as Demetrius.

The actors will perform the scenes in the real-time of the play: act 1 scenes 1 and 2 on Friday (21 June) at 8PM; act 2 scene 1 to act 4 scene 1 on Sunday (23 June) at 2:30AM; act 4 scene 2 on Sunday (23 June) at 4PM; and act 5 on Sunday at 11:30PM.

The story will be reported as it happens through Google+ and other social media platforms by 35 new characters such as the Mechanicals who didn’t get cast in Pyramus and Thisbe. They will be created by a group of commissioned artists.

Audiences can watch the story unfold on the online stage from 8pm on Friday 21 June at dream40.org.

On Sunday afternoon (23 June) a wide range of free outdoor activities for the whole family will take place in the theatre’s gardens and open-air stage, The Dell.

Full details are available at www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/midsummer-nights-dreaming/live-events.aspx.

An online audio recording of A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed by the acting company will be available from Monday 24 June at www.rsc.org.uk.