As summer becomes a memory, you have a chance to relive one night with Midsummer: A Play With Songs. The two-person musical romantic comedy will be performed in English on October 15–17 at divadlo Na Prádle in Prague’s Malá Strana district.
The play is set in Edinburgh, Scotland, on midsummer night. Helena, an unhappy divorce lawyer who drinks too much, encounters Bob, a once promising young writer who now is turning 35 and facing his failures. Bob now gets by running errands for the local criminal underground.
While there is a Shakespeare play called A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the two plays are only vaguely related except by the idea that something magical and romantic can happen on that date. And of course, it has no relation the recent horror film Midsommar.
Linnea George-Kupfer and Tim Lee of the Bremer Shakespeare Company will be performing as guests of the Prague Shakespeare Company (PSC). It is the first time they have taken the play out of Bremen, Germany.
This production is being directed by PSC’s Guy Roberts. “I am delighted that we have brought the terrifically talented team from Bremer Shakespeare Company’s Midsummer to Prague. Tim and Linnea are extraordinary actors who bring this lovely story to life with humor, wit and compassion. The incredible designs by Ulrike [Schimitschek] and support from the technical team make this an unforgettable experience,” he said.
“The show is like a thinking person’s musical version of When Harry Met Sally meets Sex in the City set in Edinburgh, one of the most magical cities in the world,” he added.
Actress George-Kupfer explained what she liked about the play. “Two people who are very different find each other on a midsummer night during a midlife crisis. There is a lovely evolution. It shows how expectations can be different from reality and how relationships can work,” sher said.
She and Lee felt they had to do it once they read it. “Tim and I read a lot of pieces, and were looking for something focused on a relationship. We read Midsummer and it made us laugh. We thought other people need to laugh, and not to be preached at about something,” George-Kupfer said.
The play, according to George-Kupfer, is like a comedic version of Venus in Fur, a two-person drama that PSC has staged. “It’s a good date night. We have had positive feedback from both genders. It’s not a ‘chick flick.’ It has truths that both genders appreciate,” she said.
The two actors are both musicians who sing, which is another factor that drew them to the play. “Music pushes story forward. There are emotions that are not in words. It adds another color,” she said. The music is performed live, with the two actors having to pick up and then hide their instruments as the play goes on, without breaking the narrative flow. This is a small challenge, according to George-Kupfer.
Midsummer: A Play With Songs was written in 2008 by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre. “It was a public favorite at the Edinburgh Fringe, a play the public likes. You leave the theater feeling good,” she added. The original production was praised in The Scotsman as “a warm-hearted, beautifully sculpted musical romantic comedy.”
The Bremer Shakespeare Company, established in 1983, generally performs Shakespeare in German, but is now branching out into English-language productions. This is the first time they are taking this play to another city.
“We are really curious to meet a new audience in a different country, and get feedback. We are excited to share piece; it’s a lot of fun,” George-Kupfer said.
PSC’s Roberts hopes for further cooperation. “We hope this is merely the first in many repeat visits to Prague by the Bremer Shakespeare Company, up next some Shakespeare in German perhaps!” he added.
People who book tickets online via Goout.cz using the code GOETHE can get a 20% discount. The discount is not available at the door,.