Q&A Scene: Alan Chambers (Director of A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Tell us about your new play A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

Alan Chambers smIt’s one of Shakespeare’s most loved plays and the perfect introduction to kids and families. We are setting it alongside the Maribyrnong river, surrounded by native Australian flora to create a unique rustic charm.  Our fairies are not your traditional idea of woodland sprites, but rather, foreboding insect-like creatures , scurrying out from underneath the set which could easily be substituted into part of the Mad Max series. We’re going for a hot, dry ‘Midsummers’ with cars and coloured dust, characters with short circuits, aussie rock and sparks a flying. A western ‘burbs flavoured style of magic and enchantment.

How would you describe the play in food form and why? 

A tasty sausage sizzle with a kransky, sauerkraut, parmesan cheese, caramelised onions and relish on a sourdough roll. We’ll have these available every night at the kiosk and the smell of delicious sausages and onions should waft over the whole park like an intoxicating spell.

Which scene in the play resonates most strongly with you and why?

When Bottom is turned into an ass (donkey) and the queen of the fairies is tricked into falling in love with him. It’s the culmination of all the plays trickeries and Pucks most mischievous prank. Puck is easily the naughtiest boy in school and who doesn’t love that?

Any behind the scenes anecdotes?

Puck (played by Brendan Ewing),  seven feet high in the air, stomping around on stilts, casually walking past the other actors and farting really loudly.  It’s constant.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Movies, theatre, puppetry, music, paintings, Han solo, love, dreams, love – the world!

What’s next for you?

I’m planning to bring back the sly rat scene-work drop in classes that were so popular in 2014. We’ve had a lot people asking after them so I’m going to set those up again and continue developing the next production for Sly Rat Theatre – an exciting work to be devised by Andy Harmsen (Co-artistic director), Brendan Ewing (Puck) and myself.

What’s your scene?

Exactly what I’m doing right now. Working on a big free community event – being inspired by talented artists, actors and designers, hanging out in a park by the river, laughing and enjoying the beautiful language of Shakespeare.

About Sly Rat Theatre Co.

SLY RAT THEATRE CO. is excited to announce that its first production for 2016 is Shakespeare’s most popular comedy, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM!

In association with THE LIVING MUSEUM OF THE WEST and THE MARIBYRNONG CITY COUNCIL, SLY RAT THEATRE CO. are bringing magic and mayhem to Melbourne’s Western Suburbs this summer!

The West’s warm summer nights are set to become a lot warmer as SLY RAT THEATRE CO. and their cohort of fauns, faeries, lovers, and a lion descend on the picturesque riverbanks of the heritage listed Pipemaker’s Park in Maribyrnong.

Performed at sunset on the beautiful banks of the Maribyrnong River, this free event is set to become one of the hottest dates on Melbourne’s summer arts calendar. Bring your picnic blanket and a hamper full of goodies. Lie back with friends and family to enjoy ‘The Bard’s’ most delightful, beguiling, and saucy romantic comedy. ‘THE DREAM’ is perfect for the whole family!

Starring a gaggle of Melbourne’s finest independent performers: BRENDAN EWING as the mischievous faun, Puck. ZAK ZAVOD as Oberon, the King of the Faeries. ANGELIQUE JORRE De St JORRE as the forbidding Faerie Queen, Titania. KATHARINE INNES, HANNAH BOLT, LETICIA SUTHERLAND, and SETON POLLOCK as the mystified lovers. SLY RAT THEATRE CO. has assembled a top-notch ensemble to breathe new life into this hilarious classic!

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM is the tale of two young lovers who, one hot Athenian night, follow their hearts and throw caution to the wind! Follow them as they escape into a mystical forest full of intrigue and danger. Enter a vibrant cast of characters – woodland fairies, clowns, and actors. There are dukes and duchesses.  A handsome fairy king, star-crossed lovers, a fool transformed into an ass, woodland sprites, and a whole lot of mischievous faeries. It will be a miasma of magic and frivolity!

‘THE DREAM’ is one of the world’s most widely performed comedies. And its enduring popularity is no surprise – it’s about the world’s favourite pastimes; falling in love. It is a theme as timeless as it is timely. It is as Shakespeare’s cheeky fairy narrator, Puck, tells us – falling in love can make fools of us all.

After a critically acclaimed season of Steven McCall’s PLUCK! at the Butterfly Club and Andy Harmsen’s FOREIGN BODIES at the Owl & Cat Theatre, SLY RAT THEATRE CO. turn their hand to this immortal tale of love, romance, magic, and temptation. Director, ALAN CHAMBERS, and playwright, ANDY HARMSEN, have concocted a sparkling new adaptation of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and are set to transform Pipemaker’s Park into the stuff of dreams!

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM opens Friday February 19 and runs until Sunday February 28 at Pipemaker’s Park, The Living Museum of the West, Maribyrnong. Performances at 6:30pm (Feb. 19th, 20th 21st – 26th, 27th 28th).




Opening Night – Friday 19 February at 6:30pm,

Saturday 20 February at 6:30pm,

Sunday 21 February at 6:30pm.

Friday 26 February at 6:30pm,

Saturday 27 February at 6:30pm,

Sunday 28 February at 6:30pm


The Living Museum of the West

Pipemaker’s Park Maribyrnong

Gordon Street, Maribyrnong VIC 3032

 Website: http://www.slyrattheatreco.com/2016-shakespeare-on-the-maribyrnong-river-a-midsummer-nights-dream/


Brendan Ewing, Zak Zavod, Angelique Jorre De St Jorre, Seton Pollock, Katharine Innes, Leticia Sutherland, Todd Levi, Victoria Haslam, Hannah Bolt, Peachey Dream, Phil Roberts, Farhad Zaiwala.

About Mandy Hall 838 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.

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