British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Midsummer Night’s Dream, A

Synopsis
A televised recording (although never transmitted) for NBC of Peter Hall’s 1959 staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. The production is prefaced by a short Prologue in which Charles Laughton guides the audience around notable sights in Stratford-upon-Avon, and includes a scene in which Peter Hall introduces the production. Backstage scenes are briefly shown. Fletcher Markle directs for television.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Television
Recording date
1959
Duration
c90

Credits

Director
Fletcher Markle; Peter Hall
Writer
William Shakespeare
Music
Raymond Leppard
Production Design
Lila De Nobili
Cast
Anthony NichollsTheseus
Stephanie BidmeadHippolyta
Robert HardyOberon
Mary UreTitania
Ian HolmPuck (Robin Goodfellow)
Albert FinneyLysander
Charles LaughtonNick Bottom
Cyril LuckhamPeter Quince
Donald EcclesRobin Starveling
Donald Layne-SmithPhilostrate
Edward de SouzaDemetrius
Georgine AndersonFairy
Jean OwenFairy
Judith DownesFairy
Julian GloverSnug
Margaret O’KeefeFairy
Mavis EdwardsFairy
Michael BlakemoreTom Snout
Michael ScobleFairy
Peter WoodthorpeFrancis Flute
Priscilla MorganHermia
Roy DotriceEgeus
Vanessa RedgraveHelena
Zoe CaldwellFairy

Additional Details

Theatre
Shakespeare Memorial Theatre
Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Historical period
Elizabethan
Plays
Midsummer Night’s Dream, A
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616)

Notes

Notes
The score for the music specially composed by Raymond Leppard for this production is held in the RSC Archive; along with production photographs, photographs of some of Lila de Nobili’s costume designs, reviews, prompt books and programmes.
General
The three video cameras were brought from Paris for the production.
History
The anthology drama series in which this production would have been broadcast was never shown in the United States or the UK. The programme had its premiere at the Picturehouse cinema, Stratford-upon-Avon on 7 October 2012.

The production was revived in 1962 with Judi Dench taking the role of Titania and was filmed by Hall in 1968.

Production Company

Name

Hubbell Robinson Productions

Archive

Name

Shakespeare Centre Library and Archive

Email
scla@shakespeare.org.uk
Web
https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/ External site opens in new window
Phone
01789 204016 (bookings)
Fax
01789 262073
Address
Henley Street
Stratford-upon-Avon
CV37 6QW

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