On Saturday night I dragged a slightly reluctant husband to the local park. We’re there on a fairly regular basis chasing a 2 year old, but all children had been sent to see grandparents, so we could have a ‘grown up’ night out.
The park itself is very pretty:
I’d read (on Facebook), that a local acting group were putting on a play in the park. Shakespeare’s ‘A midsummer night’s dream’. So, I thought we’d go along and see what it was like. Now, like a lot of people, I read that. At school. A long time ago.
But, I’ve never seen it performed before (I’d like to think I was in the minority there). It restored my belief that plays are not really meant to be read as a book, when you’re 15, because your teacher tells you too. They should be seen, and not discussed to death. I know schools take children to the theatre nowadays, but mine didn’t. I would recommend anyone poring over a letts study guide to get out and actually watch something, and unfortunately, you’ve just missed a great opportunity. Anyway, rant over.
The idea (as I understand it) is to make better use of spaces (better use being theatre). Now parks are fine during the day, but on an evening, you expect them to be full of grouchy teenagers in hoodies (with optional cider/cigarettes).
However, the park was a perfect setting, as we followed the actors to different locations for different scenes, the audience were more like bystanders, watching events unfold in a far less formal atmosphere than you’d expect to be watching Shakespeare in. I (and husband), had a brilliant evening, and will definitely be following the group to see what else they come up with.
They are theatre space NE and seem to be on a mission to use space for good, and I hope they continue to do so, and bring us more in the future.