“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” Arcola Queer Collective and writer and poet Patrick Cash rework Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream with an LGBT twist.
“Our aim in part is to use art as a form of activism, to open eyes and encourage empathy. Here’s why we thought we’d be audacious enough to put our own scenes into A Midsummer Night’s Dream, because whether 400 years ago or right now, whether gay or straight, you know what? Those ideas of love are still pretty damn similar.” -Patrick Cash for Huffington Post
It always seemed a bit odd to me that a play where one of the main characters is named ‘Bottom’ hadn’t already been given a much needed update of G-A-Y!
Thankfully the Arcola Queer Collective and beautifully talented writer and poet Pat Cash have done just that! Reworking Shakespeare’s classic and blending cabaret, drag, spoken word, music and movement with Shakespeare’s original words, and a new text devised by Patrick Cash and the company.
“The city presented before you in this play is not Athens; it’s London wearing Athens’ mask. And through this pretence we hope to give a glimpse of the reality of being LGBT+ in London, as we begin 2015.” comments Cash.
Provocative, darkly comedic and fiercely passionate. Celebrating the all encompassing free love for which Shakespeare was most known, fused with the fierce reality of what it means to be gay in 21st Century London. Arcola and Cash take their audience on a gender bending journey through their ‘new forest’. Following four lovers, into the woods and into your hearts in raw, refreshing LGBT+ theatre at it’s best.
“This is the tale of how Shakespeare got updated, and a boy met a boy, and a girl kissed a girl, and gender gave sex the slip (and a slap and the clap, whilst it was at it). Because we’ve had enough; we, the Arcola Queer Collective, said; of not being represented with truth. Hollywood you’ve had your chance, television wake from your trance, and you know what? Faggot is our word, and dyke and tranny are too, and these are our own lives, and you will know this by the end of our night.
“We found the L, the G, the B, the T, the I, the A, and all the alphabet letters, scattered like splinters or shards of hearts across the city of London. And we said, can we glue you back together with art?” –Patrick Cash writer of the Dream.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Runs at the Arcola Theatre until 24 January
Words by Tracy Kawalik
Photos Courtesy of Arcola Theatre