Our storyteller Delia in this video will be telling us the Shakespearian tale of a Mid Summer Night's Dream (Mechanical Version), which is about townsfolk in Athens preparing to present a play. Artwork is by Anna Ha.
A Mid Summer Night's Dream
Art created by Anna Ha
Storytelling by Delia Barnett
One fine evening, a group of townsfolk from Athens met in the woods, they were planning rehearse a play- that they were hoped to perform at the Duke’s wedding festivities.
“Are we all met?” Peter Quince asked.
Everyone nodded and Nick Bottom asked: “What play are we doing?”
Peter Quince told them they will be doing the story of Pyramus and Thisbe. He proceeded to read out the casting.
“You, Nick Bottom, are set down for Pyramus.”
“What is Pyramus?” Nick Bottom excitedly asked; “a lover, or a tyrant?”
“A lover,” Quince told him.
“Francis Flute, the bellows-mender. You are down for Thisby.”
“What is Thisby?” Flute asked, nervously; “a wandering knight?”
“It is the lady that Pyramus must love.” Quince told him.
Flute was unsure if he wanted to play a lady or not, but just then Bottom interrupted; “And let me play Thisby too, I may hide my face, I’ll speak in a monstrous little voice. ‘Thisne, Thisne;' 'Ah, Pyramus, dear!”
Quince frowned and told Bottom he must play Pyramus. Quince continued to read out the cast, with Bottom often interrupting, asking to play every single part- especially the lion.
“I will roar, that I will make the duke say ‘Let him roar again, let him roar again.”
“No.” Said Quince “You may do it too well and scare the audience.” told him he could not play the lion, because he might do it too well and scare the audience.
Bottom offered “I will roar in a monstrous little voice like a sucking dove.”
“No,” Peter Quince said, starting to get very annoyed, “You will play no part but Pyramus.” The group made plans to meet further in the woods later that evening for rehearsal.
As the sun set, they meet in an open pace in the forest, unbeknownst to them, they were very close to the sleeping Fairy Queen, Titania.
They began their rehearsal.
That is when Puck, another fairy, a mischievous fairy, came upon the group and decided to play a trick on them.
When Bottom exited the scene and went behind a tree, Puck turned his head into that of a donkey.
When Bottom re-entered the scene- his friends were so scared. They screamed “Oh Bottom, thou art changed,” and ran away.
Bottom was confused, he thought that they were making fun of him and trying to scare him- as if they could! He decided to sing to keep himself company and to let them know that he was no afraid.
As Bottom was singing, Titania, a woke and with a love spell in her eyes fell in love with Nick Bottom, donkey head and all.
Bottom was perplexed by all the attention the fairy queen was lavishing upon him, but he started to love it. Oberon, Titania’s Fairy King, who put the love spell on Titania, began to feel sorry for her.
And when she and Bottom fell asleep, Oberon removed the spell from Titania’s eyes.
When she awoke, she saw her former love, the donkey man and was embarrassed. “Oh Oberon, what visions have I seen” and the two of them left arm in arm.
And Puck, turned Bottom back into a human man without a Donkey head. Bottom rushed off to tell his friends about the crazy dream he thought he had had.
Later that night at the Duke’s wedding - their play was chosen to be performed. And they performed it before everyone in the court. “This is the silliest stuff that ever I saw.” Said Hippolyta, The Duke’s Bride and the Queen of a Amazons. Their play ended to great applause.