A ‘dream’ at Burngreave Library

The fairies at Shakespeare Showtime
The fairies at Shakespeare Showtime

Three of the young actors in Shakespeare Showtime
Three of the young actors in Shakespeare Showtime

Story by Samuel Humphrey | Photos by Erica Patterson

Shakespeare once wrote (among many other things!) “all the world’s a stage”, and on the 19th August as part of the ‘Community Unity’ day, Burngreave Library became the stage for a locally cast under 16s production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

Twenty children took part in ‘Shakespeare Showtime’ workshops which have been run for over a year now by Erica Patterson and myself.

Rehearsals ran over three hectic days with lots of hard work and fantastic effort from the young actors to learn their lines in Elizabethan English. We took out certain characters and scenes to get to the heart of what is still a confusing story. However we wanted to keep a lot of the old phrasing for the poetry.

The production was initially billed to be outside but various staging issues couldn’t be reconciled. Everyone agrees Ellesmere Green would make a fantastic future outdoor performance area. However, thanks to Jennifer Edwards and her set designers, including Lena who played Lead Fairy, a night sky with shining stars and a forest came to life in Sorby House.

Performing to a full house of well over forty people (with even standing room in high demand), the young cast did very well supporting each other on stage.

Nathaniel, who played Lysander, said:

Shakespeare Showtime was a brilliant experience and a good confidence builder. It was great to meet new people.”

Abel, who played Oberon, said:

“Shakespeare Showtime encourages theatrical development at a young age… and it helps me to carry myself with more finesse as an actor.”

Erica and I are very proud of the responses we have had to our workshops so far and will be running more events.

Erica said:

“I am so pleased with these youngsters. They achieved so much in such a short space of time. Their talent and enthusiasm spoke for itself.”

Burngreave Library continues to be an invaluable and supportive environment for all sorts of community activities. Pop in and find out more about Burngreave TARA, Council and community run initiatives.

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Burngreave Writers’ group are preparing to publish a book with all proceeds going to Burngreave Library. Everyone is welcome to submit their work for inclusion in the book or join the Burngreave Writers’ Group in its new time slot of 5.15-7pm every Thursday at the library. Please send your poems, stories, ideas, memories or songs to kookidoh@gmail.com

The fairies at Shakespeare Showtime
The fairies at Shakespeare Showtime