Lytham Hall will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by staging an outdoor performance of one of his most popular plays on Friday evening July 1st.
Illyria will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream in front of what is expected to be a capacity audience in a show produced by their artistic director Oliver Gray who this summer himself celebrates 25 years of touring open air theatre shows.
Emma Vickery who will play Puck is looking forward to a return visit to Lytham Hall where she last appeared as Lady Macduff in Illyria’s acclaimed staging of Macbeth in 2014.
“The first week of our summer schedule has taken us to Kent, Cornwall, Cumbria, Cambridge and North Yorkshire, so we are well in to the touring routine now. I love the appreciation and warmth we always receive from the Lytham Hall audience, especially for Shakespeare, and the beautiful tranquil setting makes it ideal for open air performance”, she said.
Julian Wilde, organiser of the open air season at Lytham Hall, is not surprised at the high level of advance bookings and feels that it is the diversity of Shakespeare’s characters which creates the appeal of the play.
“Midsummer Night’s Dream has every character a comedy needs from Puck to Titania, Queen of the Fairies, from Bottom the weaver who imagines he’s an ass, to Frances Flute and Peasebody - and there’s a very strong ending with the play within a play of Pyramus and Thisbe. It’s ideal for Illyria’s cast of five who are specialists at doubling up, very much in the 400 year old Shakespeare tradition.”
Gates will open at 5.30 pm for picnics and the play which starts at 7.30 will finish around 9.45 pm. The audience should bring their own seating and suitably warm clothes.