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London actors return for “Midsummer

Andy Olson

Actors From the London Stage, an educational theater group based at the University of Notre Dame, will be visiting the Lawrence campus once again next week.The organization, founded in 1975, travels around the country bringing weeklong workshops and teaching experiences to American colleges and universities. At Lawrence, the actors will be working not only with freshman studies students, but also with several classes in the theatre arts department, including “Introduction to Design” and “Introduction to Acting.”

The ensemble has performed many plays in the past at Lawrence, including “Much Ado about Nothing,” “Measure for Measure,” and “As You Like It.” This year, the troupe will be presenting “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” This play, written circa 1595, is one of Shakespeare’s early comedies, lyrical and full of whimsy. Like many of Shakespeare’s comedies, it deals largely with love and its foibles, but also with dreams.

The actors will be performing in Cloak Theatre, which is ideal for Shakespeare. With its thrust stage, the Cloak emulates the Globe Theatre by placing the actors in close proximity to the audience. The show promises to be true to Shakespeare in many other ways as well. In the past, the London Actors have been very true to Shakespeare’s original text. Role-doubling runs rampant in this production, as it did for Shakespeare’s productions, and the utilization of scenery is minimal, also in the tradition of the Globe Theatre.

Nick Tigg, a member of the London Actors, will also be presenting a one-man show entitled “The Margaret Donald File.” Margaret Donald, an elderly British citizen, had failed to pay taxes for her entire life. The tax office believed they had finally caught up with her, but the task proved more difficult than they’d imagined. These are the letters that passed between Margaret and her tax inspector. They are hilarious, eccentric, and utterly true. This show will be presented on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in Riverview Lounge.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” plays in Cloak Theatre on Oct. 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. and on Oct. 23 at 3 p.m.