William Shakespeare At The Arches Theatre

With it being William Shakespeare's this Thursday, I thought I would give you some interesting facts about his plays ...

Up first, we have A Midsummer Night's Dream, which will be staged by local troupe, Etcetera, from the 6th to the 8th of August.

- The play inspired the musician, Felix Mendelssohn. He wrote the Wedding March in 1842.
- The play was not performed in its entirety until the 1840s. Prior to this, adaptations that didn't use the original text were staged.
- British astronomer William Herschel discovered two moons around Uranus in 1787 and named them after the play's characters, Titania and Oberon. There's also a moon named Puck which was discovered later.
- Shakespeare took the name for his fairy queen, Titania, from the poem 'Metamorphoses' written by the Roman poet, Ovid.
- Diarist, Samuel Pepys, first saw the play on the 29th of September 1662 and hated it. He said: "Then to the King's Theatre, where we saw A Midsummer's Night's Dream, which I had never seen before, nor shall ever again, for it is the most insipid ridiculous play that ever I saw in my life. I saw, I confess, some good dancing and some handsome women, which was all my pleasure."

Well, we love A Midsummer Night's Dream and I am positive you will enjoy this magical and fun stage adaptation too! Next, we have The Merchant of Venice performed by professional company, The Wet Mariners on 15th of August.

- There are the only two recorded performances of the play during Shakespeare's lifetime. The first one was on February 10 1605, before King James I at court. The King enjoyed it so much that he asked for another show soon after.
- The play has given us some incredibly famous phrases, including 'pound of flesh', 'with bated breath', 'all that glitters is not gold' and 'a blinking idiot'.
- Shakespeare possibly invented the name Jessica - the name given to Shylock's daughter. The name did not exist before the play was written. It may have been spelt Jescha in Shakespeare's time.
- Shakespeare's source and inspiration for the play may have been from an Italian tale in a collection called 'The Simpleton'.
- As a convention of Elizabethan drama, the highest-ranking character gets to speak the last lines of the play. You will have to wait until August to find out who takes the last line!

Tickets are available for all shows on our website so why not celebrate the Bards birthday by purchasing tickets to one (or both) of these fantastic stage adaptations?

"Are you a current ticket holder?"

We are continuing to plan for our summer productions and hope that we can bring you great live theatre this August. We are keeping a close eye on the news and advice from the Government about the current situation and we will be able to make an informed decision nearer the time.

If we postpone the productions, you will have the choice to either keep your tickets until we reschedule the performance, or you can have a refund. We hope that we will not have to postpone shows, but we must ensure that we follow the Governments guidelines and keep our staff, performers and audience members safe.


If you'd like to find out more about anything I've written here, call me on 01234 241357 or leave a comment below and I'll be in touch.