"A Midsummer Night's Dream is today considered one of Shakespeare's most popular and enduring comedies. First produced around 1595 or 1596, it has had a chequered life, since for some two hundred years it scarcely enjoyed any theatrical life at all. The inter-connecting plots centred on the marriage of Duke Theseus to the former Amazon Queen, Hippolyta involve a quartet of quarrelling lovers and a group of (very) amateur actors who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest where much of the play is set. In the topsy-turvy dreamscape of the woods, lovers swap allegiances and the Fairy Queen herself becomes enamoured of an ass. This is not a play of pretty, gauzy fairies and wistful magic so beloved of the Victorians, but full of darker and more dangerous shadows that suddenly electrify and bristle with energy. There is a quality to the play which reflects the idea that all dreams are not necessarily as 'sweet' as they might be"

John Crabtree