Silence in Court! Midsummer custody battle video


Crown versus Crown a prize-winning sketch by Carolyn Eden based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which Titania and Oberon fight for custody of the Changeling.

Titania- Carrie Cohen
Oberon- Saul Reichlin
Cobweb- Katy Darby
Robin Goodfellow- Cliff Chapman
Judge- Mike Eden

Strawberry moons and Shakespeare in the garden

Wow, that was a lot of fun. A bit exhausted today, and trying not to post mortem the tiny things that didn’t go quite as I would have liked, none of which were to do with performance. Someone from the library had the time to do a head count, and there were still 111 people around at the end, and more earlier who took smalls of to bed and so forth.

Clearly the strawberry moon presaged great things – SO glad I didn’t realise the leap year meant the Solstice was really Monday, we would have got very wet!

So a vaster-than-empires thank-you (yes, I know that isn’t Shakespeare*) to:

Joan Redding, for saying yes, trusting us with her library and letting us get on with it
Tony Gibson, parking maestro and usher in chief
Ralph Winkler, Sound engineer
Pat Roberts, Max Norman, Judy Cumberbatch, Danny Connolly for helping set up.
Arachne Mates
Judith Stephenson for taxi services
Alix Adams and Muireann Grealy for being brilliant bar staff and strawberry distributors
Jay Hassan for amazing cakes
Michele for book sales and saying ‘We’ when talking about Arachne Press.
Jane Ferguson for ushering and programme distribution
Bea (and Hugh) Jackson for set (and cannon) dressing

The readers, for reading so magnificently and entering into the spirit of midsummer madness with such aplomb
Jennifer A McGowan (best-dressed Shakespearean character)
Saul Reichlin (presence, gravitas, and doormanship)
Katy Darby (especially for the tress-tossing)
Carrie Cohen (super fundraiser)
Cliff Chapman (MC extraordinaire)
Mike Eden (out of retirement especially for us)


Raise the Roof for fearless singing of very new songs especially Juliet Desailly for the solo and Maestra Kirsty Martin for the 100 mile round trip
Rosalyn Miller & Toby Hine for acting whilst singing and Mark Wainwright for playing the guitar with music trying to take wing.

For meeting the brief so magnificently and entertainingly.
Pat Tompkins
Elinor Brooks
Rachel Bellman & Elizabeth Charlesworth
Sarah Lawson
Jennifer A McGowan
Carolyn Eden
Kirsty Martin
Juliet Desailly
and of course the founder of the feast, Master William Shakespeare.

Well, weren’t you the bees knees? 111 of you stayed the course to the end, in ever cooling temperatures and rising wind. Congratulations on being our largest audience yet! Stay in touch! If anyone took any pictures they are prepared to share please let us know, I really can’t manage video, audio recording and taking stills.
Video will go up over the next week as I edit it – Still have some Story Sessions to edit, and the Solstice Shorts Submissions to read… but been too busy preparing for this to get it all done. Contain your Souls in Patience, I will get there.

julian in ruff

*Andrew Marvell, since you ask

Midsummer Night in the Garden update and BOOKING INFO!!

Some loose ends for Midsummer Night in the Garden

The Library have had a LOT of interest and are getting anxious about fitting everyone in, and would in any case like to allocate the seats to those who genuinely need them, so please can you phone them on  0208 314 7794 to book a place. You are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket to spread on the lawn.

BY THE WAY… Manor House Library is in LEE SE13, not in Manor House north London! Just in case you were confused.

We can now confirm that wine/beer will be available for a donation, and we will also be offering tea/coffee/biscuits and strawberries, home-made cake and savoury muffins will be on sale, along with (surprise!) books.

We have confirmation of the final performers: Rosalyn Miller & Toby Hines will sing Rachel Bellman & Elizabeth Charlesworth’s Little Tricks, accompanied by Mark Wainwright on guitar.

Listen to Cherry Potts talking to Gill Manley at Croydon Radio about Midsummer Night in the Garden. Our segment is about 1h40m in.

midsummer propsProps!


Midsummer Night in the Garden

tempest headerIt cannot have escaped the notice of most people that it is 400 years since Shakespeare  shuffled off this mortal coil. There’s been a lot of celebrating, and not to be outdone, we are joining in, not on his birthday, not on his death day, but at Midsummer. You know how we like a solstice.

manor lib showing lawnThe nice people at Lewisham Libraries are hosting us for an event on Tuesday 21st June at 7:30 on the front lawn of Manor House Library Old Road, SE13 5SY (with performances on the front steps) or inside in the Baring room if the weather is unseasonable.   Please  phone the library on  0208 314 7794 to book a place, and to book a seat  for those who genuinely need one. You are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket to spread on the lawn. (If it rains we will be inside)IMG_0867
IMG_0872 Shakespeare’s great skill was in telling an old story in a new way, so we are shamelessly tearing a leaf from his folio. We have poetry, story, and song, based on Shakespeare’s own work, the characters he invented, and his life.
Songs from Raise the Roof and from Rachel Bellman and Elizabeth Charlesworth performed by Rosalyn Miller, Toby Hine and Mark Wainwright.

Poems from Pat Tompkins, Alison Absolute, Shakespeare himself, Kim Russell, Sarah Lawson, Elinor Brooks and Jennifer A McGowan, a story from Lucy Ribchester, and from Carolyn Eden,  an award-winning sketch based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For the sketch and where the author can’t make it, we have actors: Big thanks to Katy Darby, Carrie Cohen,  Saul Reichlin, Cliff Chapman and Mike Eden
Discover what’s in a name, what you get when (almost) the complete works of Mr Shakespeare are reduced to Haiku, five of Shakespeare’s women get their own poem, as does his mother, Juliet’s neighbour makes a complaint, one of Shakespeare’s sonnets gets turned on its head, the Illyria of Twelfth Night resurfaces in a story of modern-day refugees and find out where (and from whom) young Will stole his best lines. Oh and what Rosalind and Orlando’s wooing sounds like set to music.

We are crowdfunding to pay the performers. If you would like to contribute you can do so here.

0994_JenMcGowan_fullElinor Brookskim russellSarah Lawson

kirsty-homelucy ribchesterKaty portrait 1 (Jon Cartwright)

Carrie Cohen reading FROG

Carrie Cohen

Saul Rechlin

Saul Reichlin

midsummer flier copy