Richard Dempsey on the Pocket Dream

Richard Dempsey introduces the Pocket Dream company and offers a few reflections from the tour...

Richard Dempsey introduces the Pocket Dream company and offers a few reflections from the tour...

Hi we're Propeller. We going to show you a Midsummer Night's Dream. A 300 hundred year old play. 3 Hours long. But we're going to doing it in one hour. 6 Actors. Playing Kings, Queens, Lovers, Workers and (Tam steps into his tutu to a mixture of giggles and wolf whistles) and fairies."

This is The Pocket Dream. We started The Pocket Dream 2 years ago. The challenge was to condense Ed's production of The Dream into one hour. After 3 weeks rehearsing with the help of Ed and Roger Warren we came up with punchy little show that managed to keep all aspects of the show with a few clever cuts here and there. Theseus and Hippolyta ended up on the cutting room floor but returned in the shape of The Duke and The Duchess who were to be cast with 2 kids from the audience at each performance.

We toured the show in Barns, Theatres, Ballrooms, Warehouses, BAM in New York and The House of Commons!!! It was a great success and the kids (and the adults loved it), it went so well that it's back on the road, this time with a few new faces but familiar to those who saw last years Merchant and Dream tours.

This time we are doing a run at Hampstead Theatre where Ed has taken over as Artistic Director (Hurrah!) and a mixture of other theatres,festivals, schools and banks! Actually only one bank. Coutts, of course, Propeller's friend and sponsor.

We returned to St Vincent's Community Centre in Brixton 2 weeks ago to rehearse, the walls still vibrating from the banging of plates and cutlery against prison bars. This time Jonathan Livingstone (Lysander/Snout), Tom Paddon (Demetrius/Quince), Propeller Veteran Chris Myles (Bottom/Oberon), Tam Williams (Puck/ Flute), Dave Newman (Hermia/ Snug)and myself (Titania/Helena) are the dreamers (Jon Trenchard will be joining in September as Puck and Flute).

It was great to return to the show, especially as we had all been in the world tour of the full length version last year. Also our amazing company manager Nick Chesterfield and wardrobe mistress Bridget Fell have returned.

We did our first performance at Benenden School in Kent, this was a great
place to start and this beautiful Tudor building has it's own new state of the art theatre. The girls had all performed The Dream so were really familiar with it and had loads of great questions after.

Our performance at Coutts was wonderful. The already spectacular foyer with trees and ponds was blacked out with fairy lights along with an ice cream stand, chocolate fountain and old school sweets for the kids. The show went down really well and Ed gave a speech at the end about the history of the show and the company. We were all presented with champagne and then met the guests (obviously after replacing our jock straps and tights for something more suitable).

The final performance of the week was at The Kent County Youth Theatre Festival, we ran a few workshops before the show, on music, physicality and text. The kids were great, really committed and gave us a fantastic reception in the evening after and during the show.

And the end of the week (over a few beers) the topic of conversation was "this is what it's really about". "this is why we do it" ............ and the fact that one of the kids asked Jonathan if he was the guy from the Premier Inn adverts! Almost topped Bob Barret being asked if he was the guy from Top Gear! They of course will know him now for getting Patsy Kensit pregnant in Holby!

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