Monday 22 July 2019

A midsummer night's dream at Colclough Walled Garden

Simon Bourke

the works of William Shakespeare were celebrated during a special event at Colclough Walled Garden last weekend.

Timed to coincide with the summer solstice, this Midsummer Night's Dream saw members of the community dress in Shakespearian attire for a participatory promenade from Tintern Abbey to the garden.

Alan Ryan, who is the project manager at Colclough Walled Garden and was narrator on the night, explained the evening's events.

'It was for families really, we had 90 people in attendance. Everyone had to dress up and each were given lines for the play as they came in. Some members of the audience even became part of the show and we had people from the OPW dressed up as characters too.'

Based on the Shakespeare play 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', which was written in the late sixteenth century and portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta the former queen of the Amazons, the show saw the cast walk from the Cloister Garth, Tintern Abbey via the Battlemented Bridge to Colclough Walled Garden on a quest to find three golden keys.

They then encountered the Bubble Fairy, the Smoke Fairy and the Tell the Truth Fairy before acquiring the keys required to open the gates of the Walled Garden.

Inside the garden, the search began for the magical flower which would be used to create a potion to break the fairy spell

Describing it as a 'simplified version of the story', Alan said their event featured elements from 'Romeo and Juliet' and other Shakespearian works.

'We simplified the story a bit. But it was great, everyone really enjoyed it,' said Alan. 'We were lucky with the weather, Saturday was a beautiful evening. One parent told us it was a night they and their children would never forget.'

And, such was the success of the event, that plans are already afoot for a repeat performance next year and maybe even an extended version.

'We're hoping we can do it again next year. And perhaps do the whole play this time. Because of the time of the year, there's scope to make it a weekend festival,' Alan confirmed.

Revealing that the idea for the event had come about during a course held by Fáilte Ireland, Alan thanked the body for their continued support and paid tribute to members of the Civil Defence Force who provided first-aid cover.

New Ross Standard