This is a detailed account of the theatrical fortunes of A Midsummer Night's Dream on the British stage, from the 1590s to the 1990s. The substantial, illustrated introduction traces the rise of the play from theatrical neglect in the eighteenth century through the spectacular productions of the nineteenth century to its current high status. The authoritative New Cambridge Shakespeare text of the play is accompanied by notes on actors' interpretations, settings and textual alterations. The author considers the cultural changes which have affected the play's popularity as well as the conceptions of individual directors from David Garrick and George Colman, via Madame Vestris and Beerbohm Tree, Granville Barker and W. Bridges Adams to Peter Brook, Robert Lepage and Adrian Noble. The book shows theatre history as cultural history. It will be invaluable to students of Shakespeare in performance at graduate level, working in departments of English or drama/theatre and to those intrigued by the changing reputation of Shakespeare.
This is not a standard critical edition. The special feature is the line-by-line commentary on the stage interpretations of the play
Lengthy introduction gives a general history of the play's fortunes in the theatre
Ideal for graduate courses on Shakespeare in performance, to students already familiar with critical commentary on the play