22 Apr 2016 – 30 Sep 2016 Shakespeare Lives

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Live Updates

By Stephen James-Yeoman, Andrew Smith & William Shakespeare

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight and thank you

Thanks to everyone for watching our live stream of A Midsummer Night's Dream; it was great to see people posting on social media from around the world.

And if you missed it, or want to see it again then it'll be available on our website, wherever you are in the world, early next week; and also on BBC iPlayer for viewers in the UK.

A season full of wonder

Shakespeare's Globe

In January 2016 the new Artistic Director, Emma Rice, introduced her sensational 2016 Summer Season Wonder, which included the incredible production you've seen tonight.

Wonder Season
Shakespeare's Globe

This is the final performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream (though you can watch it here on this very page at any time over the next six months). If you want to see what else is on at the Globe, head over to their website for information about shows, tours, education programmes and more.

Find out more at Shakespeare's Globe

How can I learn to love Shakespeare?

BBC iWonder guide

Shakespeare's plays were adored by all, from the nobility at the royal court to everyman audiences in the Globe Theatre, and have brought joy to many more through the ages.

And yet many people nowadays find the Elizabethan-era language and obscure references hard to decipher. So how do you fall in love with Shakespeare today?

Scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream
BBC
Scene from the 2016 BBC production of A Midsummer Night's Dream

And if you want a bit more Midsummer magic...

If you're not ready to leave your Dream mood, why not relive Dame Judi Dench and Al Murray as Titania and Bottom in the RSC's anniversary show from April.  

Judy Dench, Al Murray and an ensemble cast perform a piece from A Midsummer Night's Dream

If we shadows have offended...

#DreamLive

"Think but this and all is mended..."

We hope you've enjoyed this live stream of A Midsummer Night's Dream live from Shakespeare's Globe. 

View more on twitter

It's finally fairy time!

#DreamLive

If we shadows have offended
Shakespeare's Globe
If we shadows have offended..

A tragedy?

This has got to be the longest death sequence ever seen on The Globe's stage! And there's been a fair few.

#DreamLive

What's happening on stage now

Walls

Walls are everywhere these days.  

Wall
Steve Tanner

What's happening on stage now

The Steward's play

At the marriage celebrations the stewards arrive to perform their play. It is a clumsy performance but still received with great amusement by the audience who laugh at its poor writing and the bad performances. When the play is over, the performers and guests retire. The fairies then enter to bless all of the marriages and Puck wishes the audience a good night.  

The fairies
Steve Tanner

What's happening on stage now

Bottom returns

The stewards are worried that no one has seen or heard from Bottom since their last rehearsal. They fear that they won’t be able to perform their play without him. Fortunately, Bottom returns just in time, confused at the past events, but ready to play his part. 

Bottom
Steve Tanner

What's happening on stage now

The Morning after the Night Before

Titania continues to love Bottom, but now that Oberon has got the Indian boy he decides to break the charm. Titania wakes and is confused about what has happened. She asks Oberon to explain and so he shows her Bottom. Titania now finds Bottom disgusting and so Oberon asks Puck to transform Bottom back to his normal human form. Theseus and Hippolyta discover the lovers sleeping in the forest. They are all confused by the night’s events and believe they must have been dreaming. They return to Athens to be married as Lysander once more loves Hermia and Demetrius now loves Helenus.

Oberon and Puck
Steve Tanner

What's happening on stage now

Puck’s Mistake

Puck tells Oberon how he has turned Bottom into an ass and how Titania is now in love with him. Oberon is pleased with his servant’s work until he comes across Demetrius and Hermia. He realises that Demetrius still loves Hermia and that Puck has therefore used the magical flower on the wrong man. He tries to correct the mistake by using the flower on Demetrius, but this now means that both Lysander and Demetrius love Helenus. The lovers squabble over this new situation and so Oberon must try and make things right. He gets Puck to gather the lovers together and put another potion on Lysander’s eyes so that this time, when he wakes, he will love Hermia once more.  

Lysander and Demetrius
Steve Tanner

Interval time

It's now time for a quick break. Put the kettle on and get yourself settled in for the second half. The drama will commence at around 20:10 - we may have a treat of an interview coming up before then... we'll keep you posted.

Ah, ok, if you tune in now you can see Meera Syal interviewing the Globe's Artistic Director Emma Rice.

What's happening on stage now

The Interrupted Rehearsal

The stewards meet again to start rehearsing for their play. However, they are interrupted by Puck who cuts short the rehearsal by transforming Bottom’s head into that of a donkey. The rest of the actors are in shock at Bottom’s strange appearance and run away in fear. A very confused Bottom is left all alone until Titania awakes from her sleep and, seeing him, falls instantly in love. She requests that Bottom stays with her and summons her fairies to serve him. Oberon takes the Indian boy away.

Bottom
Steve Tanner

What's in an outfit?

And continuing the sartorial theme, there's been much comment on Lysander's scant outfit. This one's our favourite though....

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Hipsters!

Oberon refers to Demetrius as a hipster

Looks like this BBC Radio 4 article about how you know when you're at a hipster wedding might come in handy. 

Hipster_couple
BBC
Hipster_couple

What's happening on stage now

The Magical Flower

Titania’s fairies sing her to sleep whilst Oberon quietly sneaks in and puts the juice of the magical flower on her eyes. Now, when Titania wakes, she will fall in love with the first thing she sees. Meanwhile, Lysander and Hermia set up a camp in the forest to rest for the night. As they sleep, Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius and sprinkles his eyes with the juice of the magical flower. When Lysander wakes up the first person he sees is Helenus and so he falls instantly in love with him instead of Hermia.  

Titania’s fairies
Steve Tanner

Shakespeare Lives in Science: Puck’s Love Potion

Learn the truth behind the contents of Puck’s love potion!    

A Midsummer Night's Dream from Shakespeare's Globe
BBC
Katy Owen as Puck (Photo credit: Steve Tanner)

What's happening on stage now

Oberon and Titania’s Argument

The King and Queen of the fairies, Oberon and Titania, have fallen out over an Indian boy that Titania has adopted. Oberon wants the boy for himself but Titania won’t give him up. Oberon therefore plans revenge. He orders his servant, Puck, to fetch a magical flower. The juice of the flower placed upon a person’s eyes makes them fall in love with the next person or creature they see. Oberon plans to use the flower to make Titania fall in love with the first beast she sees. Whilst Puck is searching for the flower, Oberon sees Demetrius being cruel to Helenus as he swears his undying love to him. So Oberon tells Puck to use this same flower on Demetrius to make him fall in love with Helenus.  

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare's Globe

Audience interaction

"I might have the occasional kiss with an audience member or feed them a banana or shoot them with a water pistol!" - Katy Owen's Puck takes audience interaction to another level!  

Puck
Steve Tanner

She's a naughty one that Puck

There's an element of anarchy to Puck that Puck gets off on: the worse things get, the happier Puck gets about it!" - Katy Owen on playing Shakespeare's mischevious imp.  

A Midsummer Night's Dream from Shakespeare's Globe
Steve Tanner
Katy Owen as Puck (Photo credit: Steve Tanner)

What's happening on stage now

The Globe Stewards

A group of Globe stewards meet with plans to put on a play for the Duke’s wedding. Their director, Rita Quince, hands out all the parts. One of the stewards, Nick Bottom, is very enthusiastic and wants to play more than just the part of that has been given to him, much to Quince’s annoyance. The group arrange to meet again in the forest for their first rehearsal.  

A Globe steward
Steve Tanner
A Globe steward, of sorts

The course of true love never did run smooth

"Lysander's got this line: 'The course of true love never did run smooth'. Which is one that everyone knows, it's probably one of the most famous lines in the play. Maybe some people like to hear that line in a certain way and maybe I'll fail them for that!" - Actor Edmund Derrington  

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Steve Tanner
A Midsummer Night's Dream

The obstacles facing the actors

'Nah, you're not walking past me, mate!' - Edmund Derrington, who plays Lysander, explains it's not always easy squeezing past the groundlings in the Yard even when you're part of the show!  

Lysander and Hermia
BBC
A Midsummer Night's Dream

What's happening on stage now

Bankside

Theseus is preparing to marry Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. Egeus, comes to Theseus with a complaint about his daughter, Hermia. Hermia wishes to marry her love, Lysander, but Egeus wants her to marry Demetrius. Theseus says that Hermia must either obey her father or she must become a nun. Unhappy with this outcome, Hermia and Lysander decide to run away into the forest together to get married. Before they leave they tell Hermia’s best friend, Helenus, about their secret plan. Helenus is in love with Demetrius and plots to tell him that Hermia is running away, in the hope that he might return Helenus’s feelings and give up Hermia.  

Midsummer
Steve Tanner

We're live!

#DreamLive

Watch now in the live coverage tab. Enjoy the show!

Meera Syal
BBC

Hello audience!

Shakespeare's Globe

LIVE NOW: Lindsey Chapman is talking to the audience over on Shakespeare's Globe's Facebook account.