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TOPIC: Where to put the interval in Midsummer?

Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 8 months ago #7020

  • Katy
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Hi there,

I am putting on a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in May 2015.

I was just wondering if I could get some advice from others on here about where to place the interval within this play? Usually, it's placed at the end of Act 3, Scene 1, when Titania leads Bottom off to her bower, but I'd just be interested to see if anyone else chose differently and why, or where you think it'd be better placed. :)

Thanks!
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Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 8 months ago #7021

  • Russell Slater
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Hi Katy,
Where is your production? Recently directed Dream and settled on exactly the area you identified. Our production was outside and fairly bawdy so was a great funny close to the first half. If you go with that spot, recommend making the most of the fairy seducing donkey close-out - not often you get to work that sort of lead-into intermission. Good-luck!
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Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 8 months ago #7032

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Hi Russell,

My production is taking place in a local village hall, but the tone of this production is going to be darker than traditional ones, with a contemporary, punk-ish feel - I want to explore the darker side of the events of the play, leaving the ending with the relationships of the lovers ambiguous and obviously changed by the events that happen in the forest. There'll still be the comedy, of course, but I didn't know if there were better places to put the interval given the difference in tone of my production.

Equally, did you make any cuts to the text in your production? If so, what was cut and why? Because my production is going to have to adhere quite close to around the 2 hour mark I think, so wanted a second opinion about knowing what to cut and what other people have done before and how they've decided what to get rid of. Thanks!
Last Edit: 1 year 8 months ago by Katy.
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Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 8 months ago #7033

  • Gary
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Hi Katy,

How about the very end of Act 2? There is quite a nice dark speech at that point, and would make for an unusual longer second half...or any cuts you decide upon can be more within the second half...

Where abouts is your production? If possible, I'd love to come and see it!
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Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 8 months ago #7034

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Hi Gary,

Ooh, I hadn't thought about having it the end of Act 2 - that's work well I think!

It'll be in a village called Middleton Cheney near Banbury in Oxfordshire if it goes ahead but I am currently struggling to get a big enough cast together to fill all the roles I need which is a bit of a worry - auditions are tonight so hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised! :)
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Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 8 months ago #7035

  • Russell Slater
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There's a lot of scope for good darkness in this one, but I think you need to balance with humour or it becomes a hard slog for audience. You can set the scene of darkness with Hypolita and Theseus - a unwilling forced marriage resultant of military defeat. Got it to 2hr but no wholesale cuts, mainly trimming. Hope the auditions go well. Feel free to keep in touch if you need to bounce ideas. Good luck!
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Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 8 months ago #7036

  • Gary
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Glad to be of assistance!

To work out interval positions, I like to think a good start is to see where the plays end the acts themselves, as they would be written for such a position...

Banbury is approximately 2 hours away from me, so please do let me know if it goes ahead! I have some input on a rehearsal schedule thread as well, hopefully there is some useful ideas in place there!

Perhaps, one way to cut part of a performance, is to knock out any seemingly superfluous characters...perhaps the reduction of this and handing out his/her important lines to another character with the slight adaptation on surrounding words to make it fit could benefit if you're shy an actor or two?

As I'm adapting a compilation play for just two people, I've been doing this a lot! Just finished Henry VI Part 1's handing out of the roses scene where Actor 1 plays the part of all the people who choose the White Rose, and Actor 2 plays all of those who choose the Red Rose - completely different concept and situations, I know...but generally the same sort of ideas...

If only I were closer, I would audition myself..!

Hope it all goes well
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Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 8 months ago #7055

  • Katy
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Hello! So I have a cast for my production, which I'm so thrilled about as I really wasn't sure if I'd manage to get it off the ground! :)

I'll definitely take a look at the rehearsal schedule thread, as I'm not really sure where to start with putting one together, haha!

I think it might be best to keep the darkness to the beginning of the play with Theseus/Hippolyta etc - I still want to run with the idea of using modern instrumental music, and punk-style, modern costume, but I think you're right Russell - it could become too much of a slog, plus there is just so much that's hilarious about the play, it seems a shame to lose that in too much darkness!

Quick question - do you both have any suggestions for instrumental music I could use for the fairy songs and the bergamasque dance at the end? I haven't quite found anything that fits yet - I want the fairy songs to be spoken over the music and the bergamasque music to be fun and upbeat but still quite modern, but it'll cut off halfway through to make way for the final Titania/Oberon and Puck speeches. Any ideas? I was leaning towards using music by Hybrid initially but I don't know of it'll make the tone of the play just a bit too dark - I think it'll work in the switching from Act 1, Scene 2 to the next scene which will set the tone for the darker, more wild forest that I want, but I think all the way through, it might be too much - but I'm reluctant to have too little music as it might make the play a bit dull. What worked best for you guys?
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Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 8 months ago #7060

  • Gary
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Katy,

I'm afraid that I can't think of anything off hand as yet in terms of instrumental music..it really depends on the exact sorts of sound that you are after.

It could be an idea to source any local bands / artists that might be able to write something fitting - and by having them perform live at the show would bring another level to this. With a lesser known band as well - a lot of the younger players simply enjoy the chance to play so you can afford to pay them less. After researching elements in this, you would have to thoroughly detail any music to the Performing Rights Society 3-4 months in advance for them to quote how much you would owe to use these songs. It may end up being no great difference in cost, and because this band are working for you then the PRS need not get involved, and will save some of that hassle.

Just because I say band, it doesn't have to mean a rock band...there are lots of different sorts of artists out there (I do even have a lute player near me that I may call upon later!)
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Where to put the interval in Midsummer? 1 year 7 months ago #7093

  • Russell Slater
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How is it coming together?
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