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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Old Arts Quad, Univerity of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
13 February - 7 March 2015

Presented by AUSA Summer Shakespeare
Written by William Shakespeare; directed by Michael Hurst

  Alistair Browning  
Fairy Spidelia
  Annie Webster
  Sheena Irving  
Fairy Clair de Lune
  Elisabeth Degremont
  Julian Toy-Cronin  
Fairy Ember Iceglimmer
  Paul Glover
  Maxine Cunliffe  
Fairy Hells Bells
  Helen Jermyn


  Mustaq Missouri  
Fairy Urraca
  Joaquim Francino-Arenillas
  Anthea Hill  
Fairy Cannabissia
  Joyce Irving
Natasha Daniel
Fairy Rosebud
Karen Staniland
Liam Ferguson
Fairy Bubble
Kathy Walker
Arlo Gibson/Ryan Dulieu
Fairy Teasel Willowtwist
Kerr Inkson
Amber-Rose Henshall
Fairy Lilypad
Les Everett
Patrick Graham
Fairy Mayhem
Lesley Reihana
Jenny Parham
Fairy Pikelet
  Lesley Smith
Jeremy Fraser-Hoskin
Fairy Ringette
Ora Lefebvre
Jacqui Whall
Fairy Overblown
Pat Quirke
Mark Mockridge
Fairy Raven
Rex McIntosh
John Goudge
Fairy Tinkerbell
Rosalie Williams
Amelia MacDonald
Fairy Thistle
Susan Sanders
Anya Banerjee
Valerie Leech
  Michael Hurst  
Headwear Designer
  Amanda Billing
  Natalie Beran  
Set Designer
  Rick Cave
Textual Consultant/Dramaturg
  Tom Bishop  
Lighting Designer
  Rachel Marlow
Directors Assistant/SM
Alex Bonham
Composer/Musical Director
Callum Blackmore
Production Assistant/SM
Vishisht Virmani
Emily Campbell
Costume Designer
Troy Garton

A Midsummer Night's Dream is the perfect entertainment for a midsummer's night.  It connects with us on so many levels, moving literally from the sublime to the ridiculous, almost miraculously transcending both its time and place.  Athens, a magical forest, ancient Arcadia, Elizabethan England, moonlight, daylight, potions, hallucinations, thwarted fecundity, four nights of revels and confusion or one night of sweet and total love, fairies, cellphones, cocktails, keyboards, poetry, passion, tricks and mischief, a play, a play within a play, extreme playfulness, love, jealousy, jazz, know-it-all-actors - all of these things operate as this Dream unfolds, yet nothing can prevent the delightful folly and soulful extremity of the entanglements and confusion as they play out.  We all recognize someone or something in this wonderful work, since all of us at some stage search for love, find it or suffer from it.

For me, the annual AUSA Outdoor Summer Shakespeare is as much about community as about the works of Shakespeare.  That we sit under the night sky in the physical centre of the University of Auckland and share the experience of the universal genius of Shakespeare with one another, that we see our friends, lovers, parents, siblings, children and colleagues transforming words on a page into a three dimensional immediate and unique event and that this very act represents an ancient bond between us all that both uplifts and intensifies our experience of this world as human beings - this is the most precious thing.  Long may we be able to achieve it.

I would like to thank a dedicated, very clever and talented cast and crew for all of their hard work. Also for the jokes.  Will would have loved it.  We hope you do tool

 - Michael Hurst ONZM (Director)

A gathering of fairies

Anthea Hill (Helena) and Arlo Gibson (Demetrius)

Amber Rose-Henshall (Puck) and Alistair Browning (Oberon)

Sheena Irving (Titania)

Jeremy Fraser-Hoskin (Flute), John Goudge (Snug), Mark Mockridge (Snout), Jacqui Wall (Starveling), Patrick Graham (Bottom) and Jenny Parham (Quince)

Patrick Graham (Bottom), Anya Banerjee (Cobweb), and Amelia MacDonald (Peaseblossom)

Natasha Daniel (Hermia) and Liam Ferguson (Lysander)

Reviews of A Midsummer Night's Dream

NZ Herald: "With Michael Hurst at the helm the Summer Shakespeare strikes an appealing balance between the finesse of a fully professional production and the anarchic exuberance of students having a bit of a lark. ... brilliantly inventive stagecraft ... a uniformly excellent cast ... Hurst highlights the psychological complexity of the play".

Lumiere Reader:  "Michael Hurst has directed a smooth and suave production ... One of the theatrical highlights of the summer season that shouldn’t be missed.  Go see it and be spellbound".

Theatreview: "This is the real magic! ... director Michael Hurst has given a real twist and an unparalleled meaning. ... In my mind there are two basic requirements that qualify a show as great: I have not looked at my watch; as the audience applauds I feel this un-nameable overwhelming sensation in my heart and soul and tears spring to my eyes. Both of these things happen tonight. I am in nirvana".

Theatre Scenes:  "one of the clearest productions of Shakespeare I have seen in terms of communicating the storytelling, and it achieves this without dumbing itself down. ... this production is the perfect gate-way drug to the wonders of Shakespeare ".

GayNZ: "Hurst is in the director's chair ... His is a super concept and there is much to applaud from excellent acting, refined direction, attractive design and some tip top music. ... It’s world class Shakespeare presented by a company who are clearly having the time of their lives".