The kids are alright!

01.08.17

With a cast comprising of some of the most talented young actors in the local area, OVO made a triumphant return to the open-air theatre arena last month, with its most ambitious production yet, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Performed in the spectacular surroundings of the Roman Theatre of Verulamium, St Albans, the classic tale of young lovers and warring fairies was given a unique and irreverent twist by directors Adam Nicholls and Janet Podd, who decided to set the play in the imagination of a child and remix it into a darkly comic musical production.

Drawing on a diverse range of cultural influences including the classic children’s story Peter Pan, Disney’s Toy Story and recent Netflix cult hit Stranger Things, the original text was combined with new material, written by The Colours Of Kenny Roach playwright, and former St Albans resident, Rebecca Russell, while a live band provided the soundtrack, which featured the music of Lily Allen, Little Mix, Beyoncé, to name just a few.

No stranger to taking on the Shakespeare greats, the creative team behind 2016’s award-winning sellout production of As You Like It at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall were reunited, but this time the focus was on the children.

Ranging from the ages of 7-15 years old, the child cast were chosen from a broad range of different schools in St Albans and the surrounding areas, including St Albans School, St Peters and Beaumont School and Sir John Lawes in Harpenden and Parmiter’s in Watford.

Erin Pointer, 11, from Sandringham School, said “As soon as I knew I got the part, I was excited about taking on Shakespeare’s character, Hermia, and making her a child. I was quite nervous about performing in the Roman Amphitheatre because it is quite a big space with so many people, but it’s been an amazing experience, the open-air theatre is a beautiful set for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the audiences have been brilliant. Ben Pulford, 11, from Sir John Lawes School, who played Demetrius, added, “I have had an amazing time at OVO rehearsing and performing in this show. Everyone I have worked with is so caring and professional. It has been such a pleasure to be able to learn from, work and perform with them.

Director and OVO founder, Adam Nichols, said “OVO is strongly committed to developing the next generation of theatre talent, and we’ve welcomed the opportunity to work with some of Hertfordshire’s best young actors. They have brought amazing energy and enthusiasm to our unique take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and our audiences have been charmed and delighted by their outstanding performances.”