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Event: Shakespeare in the Park – Jan/Feb 2024

After surviving floods, storms and a plague worthy of a Shakespeare play, Auckland Shakespeare in the Park returns for the 28th year with two of the Bard’s most enduring works. Performed in the enchanting setting of The PumpHouse Theatre’s Outdoor Amphitheatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Measure for Measure play from 20 January – 17 February.

The Bard of Avon’s works were not written to be read but written to be experienced, and as Auckland’s only outdoor Shakespeare, the 2024 season promises to be the perfect summer evening’s entertainment. Audiences can make a night out of it by heading to the lakeside cafe or bringing a picnic to enjoy in the park before watching a lively madcap performance while the sun sets. These family friendly shows are also free for children under 12 when accompanied by a paying adult, giving an opportunity for kids to experience Shakespeare off the page, in a unique and memorable setting.

Since its inception, Auckland Shakespeare in the Park has been dedicated to celebrating the timeless works of Shakespeare and creating engaging theatrical experiences. A talented cast of 27 local performers will bring to life these much loved classics, with outstanding production and creative costumes.

Perhaps Shakespeare’s best-known work, A Midsummer’s Night Dream’s themes of magic, masks, mayhem and misunderstanding will unfold on stage under the skilful direction of Grae Burton. A fantastical comedy with a multilayered examination of love and its vagaries – which results in a happy ending for all the lovers. Added to this is a troop of community players determined to give a performance worthy of a Duke’s wedding celebration.

“I want the actors to be gifted the play so they can pass it on as a gift to the audience. Experiencing Shakespeare is not just a gift, it’s a treasure. We all want to pass it on with care, for enjoyment and that magical suspension of disbelief that everyone either hopes for or discovers when they come to the theatre.” Burton says on bringing A Midsummer’s Night Dream to the stage.

A play for today, the second production in the 2024 programme Measure for Measure is a dark comedy that explores the abuse of power (especially over women) and how it can be resolved for the better. Directed by James Bell, secret identities, sinister manipulations and a host of intriguingly named comic characters all come together in what is sometimes referred to as a ‘problem play’ – in that it brings up a difficulty and then solves it.

“Shakespeare in the Park has always focused on making Shakespeare’s stories accessible and relatable and we believe Shakespeare is still relevant today because of the universal stories he tells and the beautiful poetic language. Coming to Auckland Shakespeare in the Park you don’t need to be a scholar, or understand every word that Shakespeare wrote to understand the story, laugh and cry with the characters, and have a great night out.” says Bell.

Shoreside Theatre Presents
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Directed by Grae Burton
Measure for Measure
Directed by James Bell
20 January – 17 February, 7.30PM
The PumpHouse Theatre’s Outdoor Amphitheatre

Tickets $24 – $28
Children under 12 free when accompanied by a paying adult (limit 3 per purchase)


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