A South Devon theatre and film group weren’t going to let the pandemic beat them - so now they’re putting on a special Shakespeare virtual show

Victoria Balster and Rich Sandford, Titania and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's DreamVictoria Balster and Rich Sandford, Titania and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Shakespeare’s classic comedy - A Midsummer Night’s Dream - is being brought to life in a lockdown production by a theatre company based in Brixham.

Many theatres, both venues and production companies, had no choice but to ‘close’ and work for professional actors temporarily collapsed when the pandemic struck.

The South Devon Players postponed their usual shows to such time as when it is safe for theatre venues to reopen.

But the Players decided to create online performances, in which the actors come together to perform online from the safety of their own homes.

A spokesman said: “This in itself has not been easy as many people in the team have had to learn new technology and software with the cast and crew working from their lockdown locations mainly in South Devon but also sheltering in places spread across the UK as well as the Republic of Ireland and even Los Angeles in California.”

The first of these online performances is a full length, costumed production A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The members of the team have been diligently rehearsing and learning software online, creating costumes and makeup styles to create this show and develop an entirely new way to present theatre.

The South Devon Players Theatre and Film Company, are developing a proud history of the Shakespeare productions, as part of their focus on historical and classical dramas.

In 2019, their production of Macbeth was booked for a second tour and won an international theatre award in New York for its professionalism and creativity.

Laura Jury, director of that production of Macbeth and many of the Players’ shows, and founder of the theatre company, has returned to lead this new project.

The Players were founded 15 years ago from the proceeds of a car boot sale to create professional opportunities for local actors and has flourished ever since.

Based in Brixham, the Players primarily specialise in researched historical theatre productions and old classics.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be broadcast on the evening of May 30 as a ticketed event online, with tickets costing £5 each. For details go to www.southdevonplayers.com.