Intermission Youth announces the staging of their new adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, titled MSND.
The timeless quality of Shakespearean dialogue reaches new heights in MSND. Interwoven into the original narrative are themes around identity, relationships and substance abuse. The company combines the mystical narrative of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a contemporary spin that remains current with London’s young people.
Set up in 2008, Intermission Youth’s aim is to help transform the lives of disadvantaged youth aged between 16 – 25, young people living in deprivation and experiencing high levels of anti-social behaviour, family breakdown, dependency, and criminality. They believe that constant support, nurture, and care in a young person’s life can give them the confidence and believe to make positive choices and change the course of their lives.
Sir Mark Rylance, on the Board of Trustees, said today: “Intermission Youth is a sanctuary for youth. It is a safe place to do unsafe things like express your feelings truly, depend upon others, trust in yourself, and play Shakespeare plays as if they were made for you this morning.
“Under the genius direction of Darren Raymond, IY has for fifteen years created the most lively, original productions of Shakespeare plays that I have witnessed in London. This is Shakespeare liberated from its time and brought to life in the culture, wit, and wild soul life of London’s young and too often excluded generation.
“MSND will be a unique theatrical event, kicking with the life of Shakespeare’s original divine comedy and the infectious wit and warmth and honesty of the African Diaspora. You will not be disappointed. In my experience, these productions are always a revelation, a revelation about Shakespeare and a revelation about the young people of London. Don’t miss it.”
After abusing Titania’s trust, Oberon is refused access to his daughter, Asia. His best friend, Puck, tries to cheer him up and when a new drug hits the street, he sees this as the perfect opportunity. But this isn’t any old drug, this is MSND, once taken, it is believed you inherit special powers, including the ability to speak Shakespeare. Oberon is convinced that with the help of this drug, he can get to Asia, but unbeknown to him, Titania, also stumbles upon MSND, so has powers of her own! The temptation of the drug lures them to the playground, where they take on the role of King and Queen of the fairies. Or maybe they are just high?
Meanwhile, school is out for the summer, Lysander, Demetrius, Theseus and Egeus place some names in hat, whoever they pick out, they must bed, before the showcase tomorrow evening. Things turn ugly, however, when Egeus discovers that his sister, Hermia is in the hat. To win the bet, the boys persuade the girls to follow them into the playground.
Also rehearsing in the playground are a group of performers, determined to put on a good evening of entertainment for their school showcase, they too stumble upon MSND.
The production opens on 16 and 17 November at the Chelsea Theatre, with previews from 9 November and its final performance on 3 December. Listings and ticket details can be found here.