Premiere US Premiere
Production Language English
Country of Origin England, United Kingdom
Description In 2000, the Royal Shakespeare Company returned to BAM for a three-week residency with three plays, The Family Reunion by T.S. Elliot, Don Carlos by Friedrich Schiller, and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The tour presented the same productions and casts that had played the company’s Stratford-upon-Avon home. The Family Reunion was a drawing room drama written partly in blank verse, partly in prose, that incorporated a Greek chorus and avenging Furies. It was directed by Adrian Noble, then Artistic Director of RSC. With Don Carlos, RSC resurrected a play that had been a hit in 1787 Germany, and whose author, Schiller, had ranked with Shakespeare, though audiences had since become much more familiar with the Verdi opera based on the work. Set in the 16th century Spanish court, it was performed in modern dress. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was directed by Michael Boyd who would go on to succeed Noble as Artistic Director of RSC. This production was noted for its unabashed bawdiness and primal carnality (in Stratford, a Catholic school group walked out), as well as for its playful invention – Puck threw dirt over the lovers, stuck in flowers, then doused them with a watering can. The clean white set and the actors’ acrobatics were reminiscent of the groundbreaking 1971 Midsummer by Peter Brook.