A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by William Shakespeare

15th – 16th May 1962

The play features three interlocking plots, connected by a celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and the Amazon queen, Hippolyta, and set simultaneously in the woodland, and in the realm of Fairyland, under the light of the moon.

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The Cast

Theseus, Duke of Athens: Geoffrey Kinder
Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus: Cheryl Crowe
Egeus, father of Hermia: Peter Monger
Lysander, in love with Hermia: Michael Yates
Demetrius, in love with Hermia: Tom Stephens
Hermia, daughter of Egeus, in love with Lysander: Jane Cruickshank
Helena, in love with Demetrius: Sydney Hardwick
Quince, a carpenter: Andrew Latham
Snug, a Joiner: David Bungard
Bottom, a weaver: Sandy Walton
Flute, a Bellows mender: John Grimes
Snout, a Tinker: William Beale
Starveling, a Tailor: Peter Palfrey
Oberon, King of the fairies: Gordon Black
Titania, Queen of the fairies: Carol Williams
Puck, or Robin Goodfellow: Jimmy Dillon
A Fairy: Simone Bune
Peaseblossom: Angela Williams
Cobweb: Christine Pearce
Moth: Janet McDonald
Mustardseed: Christine Goddard

Court attendants Barry Dillon, Philip Alder
Fairies Sandra Burnett, Jane Calloway, Joan Griffiths, Linda Hoppen, Janet Mills, Doreen Moss, Brenda Phillips, Frances Pugh, Evelyn Smith, Mary Studart, Camille Summerfield, Valerie Tarrant, Joyce Urwin, Maureen Wernham, Anne Whitmore, Jacqueline Wooldridge.

Musicians Elizabeth Monger, Roger Hutt, Robert Halls, Gloria Brown, Anthony Prior, Regina Smewing, Gail Ford, Linda Kearn, Paul Cook, Stanley Harrison, Trevor Cartwright.

‘You spotted snakes’ sung by Janet Merritt and Alison Chaplin

Produced by Sandy Walton

Newbury Weekly News review

Shakespeare pulls in the crowds in Compton

By incorporating Compton Players’ talents, Compton School production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Downs School had all the success it deserved.

Over 500 people attended the two performances last Tuesday and Wednesday. The music was specially composed by Geoffrey Kinder who also directed the dancing and parts taken by the schoolchildren.

Subtle lighting and the haunting strains of the recorders as the fairies danced in the wood, immediately created the right atmosphere for a midsummer night’s dream and held great promise of things to come.

For a young schoolgirl, Cheryll Crowe, as Hippolyta did well with her presentation of so regal a character, Geoffrey Kinder took the part of Theseus, Duke of Athens. There was plenty of scope for the schoolchildren as the lesser characters, and they were well able to cope with Titania (Carol Williams) and Oberon (Gordon Black) but one felt that Puck (Jimmy Dillon) might have shown a little more delight in his dare-devilish pranks.

The girls spoke with clear, well-modulated voices, but unfortunately the boys are still inclined to swallow their words. Geoffrey Kinder’s arrangement of “You spotted snakes” was beautifully sung by Jane Merritt and Alison Chaplin

The four lovers – Hermia (Jane Cruikshank), Helena (Sydney Hardwick), Lysander (Michael Yates) and Demetrius (Tom Stephens) – were well cast, with sharp contrasts in voice and stature, and the adult’s more mature acting gave substance to their parts as against the imaginative world portrayed by the school children. Acting and interpretation of the lovers’ parts was excellent. They kept the play alive and with Hermia and Helena throwing slanderous accusations at each other the climax came with a dramatic flourish.

The Athenian workmen are always a source of amusement and no Bottom was ever better-loved that that of Sandy Walton, the producer. Credit was also earned by Andrew Latham as Quince – indeed it was hard to imagine just who he might be in real life. With William Beale (Snout), David Bungard (Snug), John Grimes (Flute), and peter Palfrey (Starveling), they formed a merry crowd and their antics gave the audience many an opportunity for laughter.
The production raised £40 for the School’s swimming pool fund.