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Magical performance for graduate actors

27 February 2013

Halle collaboration on Shakespeare classic

FOUR recent graduates from the School of Theatre will join the world-famous Halle orchestra on stage tonight for a special performance of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Lucas Smith, Will Finlason, Lowenna Melrose and Katie Norris will join the orchestra on stage at the Bridgewater Hall to re-enact Shakespeare’s evocative tale, as adapted by Gerard McBurney.

They will be directed by David Shirley, programme leader for the university’s BA (Hons) Acting degree.

The performance will be a British premiere.

Magical romance

Shakespeare wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream between 1590 and 1596, and it has become one of his most ubiquitous works, performed by theatre companies up and down the country and has been adapted numerous times for film, including most recently a version starring Dominic West, Rupert Everett and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Set in Athens, the play follows the adventures of four young Athenian lovers whose affections are toyed with by the fairy King and Queen. It features one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, Bottom the weaver and his bumbling group of “rude mechanicals”.

At the age of just 17, Mendelssohn wrote a concert overture based on the classic comedy, which he incorporated into his incidental music for the play 16 years later.

On the podium will be Markus Stenz, principal guest conductor of The Halle.

Previous collaborations

The School of Theatre have collaborated with The Halle previously, for the world premiere of Carl Davis’ The Last Train to Tomorrow.

Three of the four actors appearing at the Bridgewater Hall tonight – Lucas Smith, Will Finlason and Lowenna Melrose – also appeared in the production, which told the story of the Kindertransport which rescued more than 10,000 Jewish children from Berlin, Vienna and Prague in 1938 and 1939.

Tickets for tonight’s performance cost from £10, with a special concessionary rate for students of £3.

Tickets can be booked via The Halle website.