|Date of First
||A Midsummer Night's Dream
|Place of First
Olivier Auditorium, Royal National Theatre, London, UK
Royal National Theatre Company
Designer: Michael Levine
Lighting: Jean Kalman
Music and Music direction: Adrian Lee and Peter Salem
Movement: Jane Gibson
Acrobatics: Angela Laurier
Company Voice Work: Patsy Rodenburg
Staff Director: Frank Nealon
Production Manager: Annie Gosney
Stage Manager: Ernest Hall
Deputy Stage Manager: Angela Bissett
Assistant Stage Managers: Paul Greaves and Emma B. Lloyd
Sound: Christopher Johns
Musicians: Andy Channing, Joy Hawley, Adrian Lee, Maria MendonÃ§a, Peter Salem, Keith Thompson
Theseus: Allan Mitchell
Hippolyta: Lolita Chakrabarti
Lysander: Rupert Graves
Demetrius: Simon Coates
Hermia: Indra OvÃ©
Helena: Rudi Davies
Egeus: Trevor Thomas
Philostrate/First Fairy: Paul M. Meston
Oberon: Jeffery Kissoon
Titania: Sally Dexter
Puck: Angela Laurier
Peaseblossom: Alison Reid
Cobweb: Sarah D'Arcy
Moth: Abraham Osuagwu
Mustardseed: Alec Westwood
Other fairies: Stephen Beckett, Mandana Jones
Peter Quince: Steven Beard
Nick Bottom: Timothy Spall
Francis Flute: Adrian Scarborough
Tom Snout: Brian Pettifer
Snug: John Cobb
Robin Starveling: Mark Hadfield
*"A Midsummer Night's Dream." Royal National Theatre. 4 Sept. 2003.
*Griffiths, Trevor R. A Midsummer Night's Dream. Cambridge: Cambridge U P 1996.
*Shuttleworth, Ian. "Rev. of A Midsummer Night's Dream." Ian Shuttleworth website. 4 Sept. 2003.
*Taylor, Robert D. "Lepage's Midsummer Night's Dream at the Oliver and Its Critics." Western European Stages 4.2 (Fall 1992): 64-66.
*Wolf, Matt. "A Mudsummer Night's Dream." Rev. of A Midsummer Night's Dream, dir. Robert Lepage. Theatrum 30 (Sept./Oct. 1992): 14.
"Internationally-renowned playwright/actor/director born in Quebec City, Quebec , December 12, 1957.
"He was raised in a bilingual household (he had two older adopted siblings who were anglophone). He studied at the Conservatoire d'art dramatique de QuÃ©bec before joining the ThÃ©Ã¢tre RepÃ¨re and soon becoming its lead actor and then director. His first work for the company, Circulations (1984) toured nation-wide.
"His productions from the start were marked by his bilingualism, his explorations into multimedia, his homosexuality, and an ongoing study of the act of creation itself. His works, like Vinci (which examined Leonardo), Aiguilles et Opium (which dealt with Cocteau and Miles Davis), and his breakthrough success, La Trilogie des Dragons (a vast epic in English, French and Chinese which toured this country and Europe), showed a hearty imagination, a love of image and a fearlessness for new technology; sometimes the state of theatre itself was called into question.
"As his reputation grew so did his canvas and the works he took on. He presented a series of productions of Shakespeare throughout Europe, Japan and in the Festival de thÃ©Ã¢tre des AmÃ©riques which had critics arguing among themselves but which transfixed audiences and made Lepage a giant of the international stage.
"In 1989 he was appointed director of the National Arts Centre French-language theatre (he stayed until 1993), but has also directed at the Canadian Opera Company, The National Theatre (London, England), The National Theatre (Munich), The Royal Dramatic Theatre (Stockholm), and a tour for rock star Peter Gabriel.
"In 1996, The Seven Branches of the River Ota won the award for best Quebec production at the SoirÃ©e des Masques. It played at several subsequent festivals. In 1997 he created, and began an international tour of his contemplation of the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, The Geometry of Miracles/. In 1998, he created a 3D version of La TempÃªte/The Tempest and began work on Zulu Time which opened to mixed reviews in Geneva, but, subsequently, positive ones in Paris.
"He is a recipient of a Governor General's Award and is now directing movies. (In 1999, he began filming John Mighton 's Possible Worlds featuring Tom McCamus, Gabriel Gascon and Rick Miller.)
"His company, Ex Machina, has renovated a fire station in Quebec City as a multidisciplinary arts centre that does research into theatre, opera, puppetry, dance and music.
"He has said of the extended, free-wheeling process he uses to create his works, 'I don't even know what I'm writing until the audience tells me.' During a discussion session at London's National Theatre (January, 1997), when asked what he thought theatre was, he answered, 'I always come back to the same old notion that it's a gathering, a meeting point. A gathering in the sense that a group of artists get together to tell a story, and also the collective audience. The audience in a theatre room is very different from the audience to a film, because they actually change everything on the stage by their energy. You can't do that to a TV screen.'
"M. Lepage's career has not been free of controversy. In 2001, it was revealed that he had cancelled a rare press conference, in which he was to discuss his participation in the Festival de ThÃ©Ã¢tre des AmÃ©riques, because three critics on his blacklist (notably Robert LÃ©vesque) were planning to attend.
"In November of 2001, he received the London Evening Standard Award for his production of La Face cachÃ©e de la lune" (11 Dec. 2003. qtd. from http://www.canadiantheatre.com/dict.pl?term=Lepage%2C%20Robert).
*Carson, Christie. "Collaboration, Translation, Interpretation." Interview with Robert Lepage. New Theatre Quarterly 33 (Feb. 1993): 31-36.
*Charest, Remy. Robert Lepage: Connecting Flights Conversation with Remy Charest. Trans. Wanda Romer Taylor. London: Methuen, 1995. 3 Sept. 2003.
*Eyre, Robert. "Platforms: Robert Lepage in conversation with Richard Eyre; 10 January 1997, Lyttelton Theatre." Royal National Theatre Platforms. 3 Sept. 2003.
*Graham, Catherine. "Speaking as Part of Canada: An Interview with Gordon McCall about Centaur Theatre." Canadian Theatre Review. (Winter 1997): 23-26.
*Hadfield, Dorothy A. "Lepage, Robert 1957-." The Cambridge Guide to Theatre. Ed. Martin Banham. Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 1995: 638-39.
*Knowles, Richard Paul. "From Dream to Machine: Peter Brook, Robert Lepage, and the Contemporary Shakespearean Director as (Post)Modernist." Theatre Journal 50.2 (1998): 189-206.
*"Lepage, Robert." Canadian Who's Who 2001. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2001: 766.
*"Lepage, Robert 1957-." Contemporary Authors. Vol. 162. Detroit : Gale Research Co., 1962: 223.
*Lieblein, Leanore. "Deracination: The Shakespearean Trajectory of Robert Lepage." Shakespeare in Francophone Quebec. Internet Shakespeare Editions. 6. 3 Sept. 2003.
*"Robert Lepage." Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. 3 Sept. 2003.
*"Robert Lepage." Northern Stars. 3 Sept. 2003.
*"Robert Lepage: Historique." Le CICV Pierre Schaeffer (Centre International de CrÃ©ation VidÃ©o). 12 Jan. 2002.
*Salter, Denis. "A State of Becoming." Books in Canada 21.3: (Mar. 1991): 26-29.
Play staged in a mudbath, with Puck (contortionist Angela Laurier) suspended from above.
Lepage is a prominent French Canadian director working in an English context for this production (among many others). Because Lepage was the first Canadian to direct a play at the National Theatre and because of his unique directorial style, CASP has included this production in our database. CASP continues to investigate this production in an effort to determine what sorts of influences Lepage's French Canadian theatrical training, experience and sensibility have on his work outside of Canada.
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A Midsummer Night's Dream
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