Local theatre company to transport Hemel and Berkhamsted schoolchildren to fairytale forest for free al fresco performance

The play will be performed in a specially prepared woodland theatre
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Schoolchildren in Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted will be transported to the magical setting of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream during a free al fresco performance.

The Shakespeare Circus, which is based in Berkhamsted, is delivering the performances to up to a thousand children in year’s five and six, across the region.

The magical play, famously set in an enchanted fairy forest and follows the mischief of fairy king servant Puck, will be performed in a specially prepared woodlands theatre on land managed by the Box Moor Trust. The free performances are this year’s key project for the company which formed just a year ago.

Cast members prepare for A Midsummer Night's Dream.Cast members prepare for A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Cast members prepare for A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The play is produced and directed by Michael Corbidge and Victoria Williams, who both work with The Royal Shakespeare Company, and are joint artistic directors of The Shakespeare Circus.

Mrs Williams said: “Since the pandemic, and with so much screen-time, it is really important to give children opportunities to connect with nature in one of our most beautiful woodland spots.“We will also be giving the children a free workshop where they can experience speaking the play’s powerful text themselves.”

Part of the funding for the free shows and workshop will come from public performances of the play at a variety of local venues, including the Box Moor Trust site, based in the centre in London Road. The play’s community tour starts on Saturday June 24. All details are available on The Shakespeare Circus website.