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Propeller’s magical staging of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Girona

The Temporada Alta Theatre Festival, held each year in Girona and Salt (Northern Catalonia), welcomes back one of its most loyal international companies: Propeller, which is indeed back on stage at the Municipal Theatre of Girona. It is the 6th time the English troop is performing in this northern Catalan city, and they have claimed to have fallen in love with it. In the past 16 years, Propeller has staged Shakespeare plays in over 22 countries, attracting thousands of people. This year, they are presenting their reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in both Girona and other cities across Spain. The company is formed only of male actors, in a similar fashion to Elizabethan era theatre troops. Their staging of the play is full of magic and surrealism, creating a variety of different atmospheres and leading to many smiles in the audience.

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05 December 2013 05:04 PM

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ACN / Tània Tàpia

Girona (ACN).- The Temporada Alta Theatre Festival, held each year in Girona and Salt (Northern Catalonia), welcomes back one of its most loyal international company: Propeller, which is indeed back on stage at the Municipal Theatre of Girona. It is the 6th time the English troop is performing in this northern Catalan city, and they have claimed to have fallen in love with it. In the past 16 years, Propeller has staged Shakespeare plays in over 22 countries, attracting thousands of people. The company is amongst the most recognised in the world for conveying the true “lyrical rhythm” of the English playwright’s texts. This year, they are presenting their reinterpretation of William Shakespeare’s Classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in both Girona and other cities across Spain. The company is formed only of male actors, in a similar fashion to Elizabethan era theatre troops. Their staging of the play is full of magic and surrealism, creating a variety of different atmospheres and leading to many smiles in the audience. The play is on four times, with the last performance scheduled on Friday.


‘Magic’ is a word that the company Director, Edwuard Hall, used many times while describing his work on this adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. According to the Director, the play, one of the most successful texts written by Shakespeare, is not merely full of magic. It also discusses love and the cruelty of it.

The Propellers have returned to Girona for the sixth time in the last few years, hence becoming one of the most loyal international companies of the Temporada Alta theatre festival. Their creative stagings are the most eagerly awaited among the audience and therefore, the festival has organised four performances in only three days.

On such occasions, by staging A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the company is seeking to lead the audience on an eventful journey, going forever “back and forth”. “It’s a beautiful and moving story and we wanted to capture the magic and surrealism of the work. An elf, named Puck, appears amidst the fog and builds the spirits and fairies as characters in his own story”, explained the Director of the company.

Staying true to Shakespeare’s “lyrical rhythm”

Propeller is amongst the most recognised companies performing Shakespeare, and according to its Director, this was no accident: “We can spend up to four and a half hours on one page to get the perfect flow”. Hall argued that the members of the company are a far cry away from the typical bohemian actor with little discipline. On the contrary, he stressed that his actors – all men - were highly disciplined and worked hard with the aim of successfully reciting Shakespeare while staying true to all his metric structures. “We are very disciplined with the language, the aim is that, even if the audience is not familiar with the language, all viewers can notice a metric structure that is repeated again and again, producing the most wonderful lyrical rhythm” said Hall .

Music is also an important component in the staging. Not so much in terms of songs, as there are only four or five of them, but in respect to the numerous and diverse sounds that can be heard all along the performance. Sounds coming, for instance, from wooden sticks, whistles, or harmonicas played by the lead actors and which contribute “to the creation of atmospheres”, according to the Director of the company.

A fascination for Girona

Propeller came to Girona for the very first time in 2005 with The Winter's Tale. The actors then returned with The Taming of the Shrew (2006), Richard III (2009), Henry V (2011) and Twelfth Night (2012). For their 2013-14 tour and the Temporada Alta festival, the company has delved into Classic Midsummer Night’s Dream, a play they had started performing in 2009. The list does not end here: they will soon start performing a new Shakespeare play- The Comedy of Errors – first in England and then in several other countries, starting in June 2014. In the past 16 years, the Propellers have staged Shakespeare plays in over 22 countries, attracting thousands of people.

Director Edwuard Hall, said that he was fascinated by Girona. “This city is a great secret; I have brought many friends to see it”, he said. According to Hall, acting both at the Municipal Theatre in Girona and in Salt are unique experiences to feel the atmosphere in both cities and the special connection with the audience.

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  • A moment of the Propeller's performance of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (by Dominic Clemence / ACN)

  • A moment of the Propeller's performance of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (by Dominic Clemence / ACN)

  • A moment of the Propeller's performance of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (by Dominic Clemence / ACN)
  • A moment of the Propeller's performance of Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' (by Dominic Clemence / ACN)