A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pericles

In July and August 2013, Brownsea Open Air Theatre celebrated its 50th season by presenting two plays by William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Pericles (Prince of Tyre).

Courtlye Musick provided recorded music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream……


……and live music for the staging of Pericles. Instruments such as Cornetto, Shawms, Rauschpfeife, Crumhorn, Sackbut, Curtal, 3-hole Pipe, Recorders and Viol were played both on and off-stage for scene changes, to provide fanfares for entries and music to accompany dances and songs. Drum beating and triangle clashing featured largely during the tournament and sword-fighting scene. Before the start of the play and during the interval the audience was entertained with instrumental music and songs.

Boxes of instruments could be seen crowding the quayside at Poole, heaped in place on the ferry and being lugged up to the stage area. Red squirrels were spotted and during a Sunday afternoon rehearsal, a deer decided that the grass was greener on our side of the fence.

We coped with soggy reeds and strings needing constant tuning as the damp of the evening descended. We managed to get up the steps and into our place in darkness ready to play without tripping up the actors rushing in the opposite direction. And looking at the night sky and the stars on the homeward ferry journey…

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