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The dreamiest of midsummer nights

In a time of counting our blessings (we survived Covid, the electricity stayed on while I was cooking dinner), Geoffrey Hyland’s powerful, playful Midsummer Night’s Dream provided a night of easy blessings and magic, mirth and laughter.

Puck (Sophie Joans) and Oberon (Chi Mhende) conspire. Production photos: Mark Wessels

It was with delight and relief that we returned to Maynardville, Cape Town’s beloved outdoor theatre in Wynberg, after a terrifyingly long wait through the pandemic and beyond. And what a Midsummer Night’s Dream it was.

Hyland adds plots and twists to the twisted plot, most brilliantly by casting many of the actors in two roles – a cunning, clever, sometimes gender-crossing scheme that is always amusing, never confusing.

Midsummer Night’s Dream stars Chi Mhende and Mark Elderkin, and Call Off The Search favourite Sophie Joans as the most perfect Puck.

Mark Elderkin as Bottom

After a three-year hiatus, Maynardville Park opened again this summer under the management of VR Theatrical (Jaco van Rensburg and Wessel Odendaal).

It all started in 1956…

Van Rensburg says: “We recently opened a new production office in Cape Town and were absolutely thrilled when the opportunity to present Maynardville came our way. It is a cornerstone of the Cape Town theatre calendar with history dating back to 1956 when two brave and ambitious women, Cecilia Sonnenberg and Rene Ahrenson, staged the first Shakespeare play at Maynardville. 

Pizza in the park: Buy something to eat at one of the food trucks and take it into the show (TBH We wished we had arrived earlier and sat in the park and had dinner before the show)

“It was a bold idea that paid off and has been a tradition for many over the years. We are hoping to honour this legacy by presenting a summer season that delights, entertains and celebrates the return of live theatre that will give us all a few hours of pure magic under the stars.”

It all started in 1596…

This production of the classic (written in 1596) certainly provides pure magic but also, where the focus is often on the magic, this production doesn’t let you forget for a minute that Midsummer Night’s Dream is the wickedest of comedies.

Everything is so much better under the stars …

2023 Season at Maynardville:
19 – 21 January – The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra
26 – 29 January – Cape Town Opera
2 – 23 February – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
1 – 5 March – Cape Town City Ballet

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9th November 2023 12:17 pm

Love this too! Second viewing for me tonight. Excited…

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