A few weeks ago I wrote about Knowsley-based group Altru drama, and how they had been picked as one of the community theatre companies to perform on the outdoor stage of the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the World Shakespeare Festival.
To celebrate their success, this week they held a homecoming performance of their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Halewood Learning Centre.
A cast of amateurs all aged between 14 and 20, for many of the actors this was their first full-length play, never mind live performance of Shakespeare, and this is what made watching the show so rewarding. Somewhere along the way, this youth theatre had clearly been equipped with an understanding and passion for the language of Shakespeare that made the performance work a treat.
Altru Drama is a theatre and creative arts organisation based in Knowsley that works extensively with schools and education organisations to deliver and co-ordinate five children’s and youth theatres across the borough, in partnership with Knowsley Leisure & Culture Development team. Their work covers Halewood, Kirkby and Huyton, and young people attend their youth theatres on a weekly basis.
Thanks to the direction of Kate Gorst and Lisa Rowe there was a really lovely look and feel to this production. A classic tale told with simplicity and warmth, there were plenty of laugh out loud moments courtesy of a very likeable cast. Highlights included Katrina Murray’s hilariously over-emotional Helena, Tom Martin’s confident Oberon, and Dale Roberts’s tender Lysander.