Melissa Parker- interview

In the newest depiction of Shakespeare's iconic comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, a modern twist is upon the tale that becomes relevant in the 21st Century. Featuring some 90s tracks and 'Athens Academy' homecoming prom, the show will be performed outside at the Actors' Church, Covent Garden, this piece is part of the Iris Theatre's Summer Festival, and can be enjoyed by fans of the traditional writing, and those who are not, alike.


Melissa Parker is playing Hermia/Titania, and has told us a little about what to expect!

 

What can audiences expect from this production?


Lots of energy and plenty of classic 00’s bangers! 



How has the traditional narrative been adapted? 


The choices to change text have come mainly from a desire to address some of the potentially

problematic content around women in the original text, to better serve a modern audience.



How are you bringing your characters to life using your own interpretation? 


Everything with Shakespeare is pretty much on the page and your main job is the get beneath that

language and drive it. That said, one of my characters Titania has undergone quite a lot of text-

changes to find her voice in our version. So, for her I’ve relied on my own interpretation to find a

new way into her power and status. 



What considerations must you make for performing outdoors?


Ask me once we’ve opened! I’m anticipating a big vocal demand to compete with Covent Garden! 



Who does the show appeal to and why?


One thing that’s particularly exciting about our setting and adaptation is that it should give

everyone a way into this story; a familiar way in to people who don’t know Shakespeare but do

know 90s high school movies, and a brand new way in for people who do know the play but have

never seen it like this before. 



What would you tell Shakespeare about the show? 


That we’re having a blast performing his excellent play and keeping it relevant for him, and that

the lovers quarrel scene works very well on the actor’s church lawns!


 

Thanks so much to Melissa for speaking a little bit about the show- it sounds like an enticing adaptation in a fantastic location!


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Additional thanks to Alice James for organising this interview.