Ever since we decided to do A Midsummer Night's Dream this year as our big production I've found myself thinking about the play quite intensely. And that intensity has reached its highest pitch over the last two weeks as I've been figuring out exactly how many of the lines we'll be cutting to ensure we keep to a reasonable stage time and don't overwhelm our performers by the sheer amount they'll need to memorise.
It's painful, of course, to cut anything, and I've steeled myself to be ruthless, getting rid of something like a third to half the original. Fortunately that leaves a lot to savour, and that's what I've been doing as I've found myself more up close and personal with Shakespeare's words than ever before. What must it have been like to have been given this stuff to perform in its pristine state a little over four hundred years ago? Magical is the only word I can think of, in its truest sense.