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Shakespeare in the Park: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

SHAKESPEARE is coming to Araluen Botanic Park, as Roleystone Theatre gets ready to deliver romance, magic and mayhem. Directed by Paul Treasure, A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes place in a magical version of Athens and centres on the wedding of Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.

At the same time, Oberon and Titania – King and Queen of the Fairies – have had a huge falling out and find they have both arrived in Athens to attend the wedding. Oberon decides to pull a lavish prank on Titania, which involves her falling in love with a mortal, who has been turned into a donkey. Two pairs of lovers and a group of tradesmen trying to put on a play also get involved in the madness in the woods outside Athens.

“The joy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is that you have three distinct groups of characters, so you can play around with the settings,” Treasure said. “Our Athenians will be done in a faux fantasy medieval style but our tradesmen, known as the mechanicals, will be dressed in modern overalls.

“And the fairies will be just as you imagine, simply because fairies are timeless.” The main challenge, according to Treasure, is directing a show outdoors for the first time.

“We will be doing it without a lot of the tech normally used in theatre, so there will be no set, no lights and no amplification,” he said. “But there’s also an opportunity to actually move the performance among the audience.”

Acting for more than 30 years, Treasure has performed in most of Perth’s theatres – mainly with Roleystone, Kwinana and Marloo Theatres and the Mandurah Performing and Koorliny Arts Centres. He has several acting awards and nominations to his credit, including a 2014 Finley Award for best actor in a musical for his role as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof with Murray Music and Drama. Last year, Treasure made his directorial debut with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of WA with a production of The Mikado. 

“I’ve been toying with the idea of doing some form of Shakespeare in the Park for a number of years and, when the opportunity finally arose, A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the perfect choice to start with,” he said. “It’s a genuinely funny play that’s also very well-known and set outside, so suits the venue well.

“I directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream many years ago – it’s one of those plays a director could stage a number of times and have every production be totally different.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream plays at 4pm February 22, 23, March 7 and 8. T

ickets are $25, $20 concession and $10 children (15 and under) – book at www.trybooking.com/597891 (includes entry to Araluen).

Araluen Botanic Park is at 362 Croyden Road, Roleystone.


Saturday, February 22 – Sunday, March 08


Araluen Botanic Park
362 Croyden Road
Roleystone, Western Australia


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