The Manchester Shakespeare Company

Episode 3. 'Summer Dreaming 1973' The laughs kept coming!

October 25, 2022 John Topliff and Gina T. Frost Season 1 Episode 3
The Manchester Shakespeare Company
Episode 3. 'Summer Dreaming 1973' The laughs kept coming!
Show Notes

In this episode Gina and John talk about the fourth Manchester Shakespeare Company production, 'Summer Dreaming 1973'  an irreverent musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.  First performed at Manchester Three Minute Theatre (3MT) in July 2015

The show includes five original songs, a Marxist/Leninist version of 'Pyramus and Thisbe, arranged marriages, a Glam Rock transformation, the invention of 'Dogging', a talent show, Feminism in action, Theatrical Class Warfare, a bitter custody battle, and the unexpected effects of the Equal Pay Act. There are also a couple of rude words!

Set in the early summer of 1973 in the woods around the City of Mancia ‘Summer Dreaming 1973’ follows the lives and loves of four very different couples as they struggle against the odds to make the course of true love run smooth. 

The betrothal of Duke Charles Wilmslow to Lady Diana Expensive is cause for celebration: a concert given by the good people of Mancia in the honour of the ‘happy’ couple. But the workers at Truss & Son, led by Shop Steward Peter Quince, are planning to use the occasion to launch a subversive theatrical attack on the aristocracy. Further down the social scale a different kind of arranged marriage is causing Hermia Strains a more immediate problem: Her father has promised her hand (and everything else) to boss’s son Donald (Dumbo) Truss, in order to facilitate his rise in polite society. Hermia has other plans though and intends to elope with her penniless true love Leroy Sanders through the enchanted Forest of Ancoats to stay with Leroy’s Gran in Glossop. Pursued by the furious Donald and his devoted but recently dumped ex, Helena Handcart, the lovers soon become lost in dark woods, frequented by Hippies, Druids, Fairies and that ‘Merry wanderer of the night’ Robin Goodstuff. Hearts are broken and mended before the night is out and Nick Bottom has the trip of his life when he becomes entangled in a drug-fuelled feud between Oberon and his estranged wife Titania, Queen of the Druids. 

Original Cast:

 Aiden J. Harvey: Peter Quince, Duke Charles Wilmslow
Dale Vicker: Nick Bottom.
Sophie Anne Elicott: Lady Diana Expensive, Titania.
Tony Charnock: Oberon. 
Ellen Rogerson: Hermia Strains.
Sophie Toland: Helena Handcart, Deirdrie. 
Josh Fyson: Leroy Sanders, Snout.
Allyn Thomas: Robbo Goodstuff.
Charlotte Rhodes: Frances Flute.
Jess Wood: Donald Truss, Snug.

The show was written and directed by John Topliff and Gina T. Frost

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