Rehearsals for the Abbey Shakespeare Players production of A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream are at the spit and polish stage. I bobbed down today and caught a few scenes at the incredible ruins of St. Dogmaels Abbey that have made up the stage for this production for over quarter of a century.
The cast – a lot of whom have grown up together, have congregated at the Abbey every year to put on a Shakespeare play. Most of the peripheral nuts and bolts now operate like clockwork. Everything has it’s time and place. There’s a tight, military precision to a lot of it, and a lot of it follows the exact same routine, on and off stage, year after year- apart from play itself – this, it’s direction and a few of the players are the changing parts.
As I sit here, looking over Poppit sands from our campsite, one of our (yet to be lit) campfire guests has just touched this very subject I’ve written about above. Penny’s been coming here for 20 years and has just described how she first came when her eldest was just 18 months old – he’s now 21. Another guest Mary Glynn, who’s playing Puck / Robing Goodfellow told me she’s feeling excited about the play. “It’s feeling a bit haphazard, but that’s probably a good thing” said she. The bits I saw today looked far from – It amazes me how the detail of the play – down to the timing of each footstep is timed to perfection.
Well – as of now – I really must crack on and light that fire. There’s beer and whisky to be drank!