18th Oct, 2017

Dream comes true for Bear Pit

Stratford Editorial 25th Jun, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A DREAM has come true for a Stratford theatre company.

The Bear Pit Theatre is one of a select number of amateur dramatic groups who will perform alongside a company of professional actors in the RSC’s national tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation.

It will see the RSC working with 13 partner theatres, 84 amateur performers and 580 schoolchildren, alongside 18 professional actors and the creative team for a major tour of the Bard’s ever-popular comedy.

The RSC’s creative team have travelled 2,360 miles to audition 586 amateur theatre makers in 95 workshops. Each group represents a region or nation of the UK.

The players from the Bear Pit will play the Mechanicals – the hotch-potch of laborers who perform the play within a play – the most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe.

The Bear Pit cast includes Dominic Skinner (Flute); Roger Ganner (Quince); David Southeard (Snout); Charlotte Froud (Snug); Shirley Allwork (Starveling) and the infamous Bottom is to be portrayed by David Mears.

Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman has taken on the task of directing the production.

She said: “We have cast people from all kinds of backgrounds, with a wonderful range of voices, shapes and sizes, but every single one of them has already demonstrated tremendous courage, skill and hard work to have survived the audition process and be selected to star in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“And they have done all this whilst holding down a huge range of demanding jobs in the daytime. These first steps in creating a true ‘Play for a Nation’ have been inspiring, humbling and very refreshing.”

The production opens in Stratford at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in February, and will return in June following the tour.

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