Third-year plays 2021: ‘Boudica’ & ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

6 April, 2021

We have all lived through a year of great loss. Loss of loved ones, loss of contact, loss of work, loss of freedoms that we have long taken for granted and perhaps held too lightly as a result. So many losses. It is against this backdrop that our third-year BA (Hons) Performing Arts students have come together in two productions.

Not only has this been a daunting process due to mask-wearing, social distancing and a diet of testing and hand-sanitisers, but it has been daunting too because the choice of plays had to be meaningful, perhaps more so than in any other year.

Over the past twelve months, we have all had to do battle in our own ways. Whether that has been a battle with isolation, anxiety, grief, or simply to find moments of joy and distraction, we have had to, at times, fight hard to keep on the right side of positivity. But there have also been other battles over the last year. Battles for equality battles to feel safe in our streets, battles to stand up for the freedom to protest those things which diminish our society.

In Boudica, we have a cast of warrior women fighting for their voice, for their place, for their rights. Fast-paced, physical, exciting; a play that satisfies our need for story and action but also leaves us moved on a very human level.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream speaks to another need and no less important at this time of lockdowns and restriction. The need to escape, the need to laugh, the need for joy; the need to suspend disbelief and enter a world of wild, crazy fun, where fairies cast their spells and people get lost in the woods only to find themselves when they eventually emerge. All we need to do is believe. Believe in our own strength, but also believe in a little bit of magic along the way.

Boudica

Directed by Gary Sefton

“When looking for a play for the third years to tackle, I really wanted to find something challenging, contemporary and empowering for the talented young women at ICTheatre to perform. A good friend pointed me towards Tristan Bernay’s ‘Boudica’.  Having read this excellent play and the writer’s inspiration for it  –

a close female friend told me she was sick of not having the fun that her male counterparts got to have. Male actors get to have sword fights, gun battles, car chases. Most parts for women require them to be beautiful and witty in a pretty dress before they die gracefully. Which is fxxxxxg boring!

– I was sold.

This play couldn’t be more relevant, crucial and important.

Not only does it tackle and explore challenging themes, it promises to be an exciting, visceral, intense and moving experience for both the actors and the audience.

Join Boudica, a fierce mother and warrior and her ambitious daughters as they fight to save their family and Britannia from Roman invaders.

I feel extremely humbled and privileged to work with such a creative, powerful, committed and talented company of young women.

The play is dedicated to women everywhere – now more than ever.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Directed by Stephen Harper and Phil Edgerly

“We set our dream in the world of 20th century cinema. Through silent melodrama and comedy onto the birth of the talkies and then the advent of glorious technicolour.

Our approach has been visual, physical and a touch irreverent whilst retaining the heart and soul of Shakespeare’s classic.

Do bring your popcorn and we invite you to believe in the existence of fairies, the joy of imagination and the  power of love.

“I thought love was only true in fairy tales

Meant for someone else but not for me

Love was out to get me

Thats the way it seemed

Disappointment haunted all my dreams

Then I saw her face

Now I’m a believer

Not a trace of doubt in my mind

I’m in love, I’m a believer.”

This year both plays will be filmed live by a professional camera crew and streamed virtually for our audiences.

© 2021 ICTheatre
Institute for Contemporary Theatre