Outdoor events continue to return to Singapore parks, including Fort Canning Park. This prominent hilly green space in Singapore will once again be the venue for the much-loved Shakespeare in the Park by Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT), from 3 May. This year’s rendition features a well-known Shakespeare play that’s also a comedy show through and through, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
What is this Shakespeare play about?
While the most famous Shakespeare plays, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, are both tragedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is The Bard’s best known comedy. It’s also one of his most popular and widely performed plays. The appeal lies in the many interconnecting subplots, all revolving around a wedding celebration that happens on a midsummer’s night.
As with all Shakespeare plays, things are not as straightforward as they seem!
The marrying couple in question are King Theseus of Athens and Queen Hippolyta of the Amazon. One subplot revolves around the conflicting emotions of four young lovers – Hermia, Helena, Lysander and Demetrius – that Theseus is asked to judge on.
Over in the fairy world, the strained relations between Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of fairies respectively, kick off a chain of events that affect the humans. This is due to the mechanisations of Puck, a sprite in the service of Oberon, casting spells on the lovers.
The last subplot involves a group known as the Mechanicals. They are unknowingly drawn into the fray as they prepare to put on a play for the royal wedding.
At the end of the night, all those affected are left to ask, “Was this just a midsummer night’s dream?”
Who should watch A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Whether you’ve already seen all of William Shakespeare’s plays three times or you’ve never heard of The Bard, you’ll enjoy the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
While the text remains the same, this comedy in Singapore has been given a contemporary setting and avantgarde costumes. It’s a nod to how relevant Shakespeare plays remain today, 430 years after they were written.
Not convinced? Here are some other reasons why you should watch SRT’s Shakespeare in the Park: A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
Students who are studying Shakespeare will get to hear the rhythmic verse and poetic cadences of The Bard’s writing performed on stage, which will no doubt fan their interest in his plays.
Fans of Shakespeare plays can add another live performance viewing to their collection, this time outdoors at Fort Canning Park.
Families with young ones can take this chance to expose them to the dramatic works of the English playwright. While the language may be a challenge, they can still marvel at the costumes and set design, while enjoying the outdoors.
Couples on a date will find that A Midsummer Night’s Dream is just as much a story about love as Romeo and Juliet. It makes for a very memorable date in Fort Canning Park!
A group of friends looking for something different and interesting to do together. This Shakespeare comedy in Singapore might even become your highlight of the month!
Who’s who in SRT’s Shakespeare in the Park
The actors appearing in the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream include well-known thespians and seasoned theatre practitioners.
● Theseus/Oberon – Ghafir Akbar, most recently seen in Wild Rice’s An Inspector Calls.
● Hippolyta/Titania – Julie Wee, in her sixth Shakespeare in the Park with SRT.
● The four conflicting lovers – Natalie Yeap (Hermia), Timothy Wan (Demetrius), Vanessa Kee (Helena), Nicholas Chan (Lysander). All four actors are making their Shakespeare in the Park debut this year.
● Nick Bottom of the Mechanicals – Daniel Jenkins, the deputy artistic director of SRT. Dan has numerous acting and directing titles to his name, including SRT’s award-winning run of The Almighty Sometimes.
● Quince of the Mechanicals – Isabella Chiam, an actor and theatre-maker who’s also an adjunct lecturer at NAFA and Lasalle College of the Arts.
● Puck – Krish Natarajan, who has been actively involved in acting and directing in Singapore since graduating in 2019 with first-class honours in BA Acting from Lasalle College of the Arts.
Things to note before arriving at Fort Canning Park
If this is the first time that you’re catching Shakespeare in the Park, here’s some handy tips for making the most out of your night at Fort Canning Park.
Arrive early. The Shakespeare play live performance will begin promptly. Latecomers will be assigned a specific seating area and can only move during the intermission.
Children above three years need a ticket but this is recommended for those 10 years and above. Pets aren’t allowed, though.
Bring your mats and picnic baskets as you can picnic from 6.30pm onwards. There will also be some F&B stands with bites and refreshments for purchase.
Have your cameras and video recording devices ready. Photography and recording is allowed only during the picnic and at curtain call, but not during when the play is running. You’re encouraged to share these photos and videos on social media, too!
Prepare ponchos, in case it drizzles while the Shakespeare play unfolds. If the weather is bad before the performance begins, SRT reserves the right to cancel the performance with conditions. Attendees can check their website for more information about this.
Get your tickets early. This is a highly anticipated Shakespeare comedy in Singapore event, as the last Shakespeare in the Park was in 2018. You won’t want to miss it!
Buy tickets to Shakespeare in the Park 2023
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Singapore Repertory Theatre will be staged at Fort Canning Park. The play starts promptly at 7pm, running for approximately two hours and 30 minutes, with a 20-minute intermission.
Besides standard Picnic tickets, Shakespeare in the Park also has Premium Picnic tickets. These include a reserved picnic space near the stage, a pre-show stage walk-through, and a show programme. You’ll still have to bring your own picnic basket and mat.
For those who would like to sit comfortably, opt for the Pavilion tickets. They include a seat and a show programme.
Preview shows on 3 and 4 May
● Premium Picnic / Pavilion $98
● Picnic $60
Standard shows, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays
● Premium Picnic $118
● Pavilion $103
● Picnic $60
Peak shows, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
● Premium Picnic $138
● Pavilion $108
● Picnic $70
Singapore Repertory Theatre