A Midsummer Night’s Dream

This is a detailed account of the theatrical fortunes of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the British stage, from the 1590s to the 1990s. The substantial, illustrated introduction traces the rise of the play from theatrical neglect in the eighteenth century through the spectacular productions of the nineteenth century to its current high status. The authoritative New Cambridge Shakespeare text of the play is accompanied by notes on actors’ interpretations, settings and textual alterations. The author considers the cultural changes which have affected the play’s popularity as well as the conceptions of individual directors from David Garrick and George Colman, via Madame Vestris and Beerbohm Tree, Granville Barker and W. Bridges Adams to Peter Brook, Robert Lepage and Adrian Noble. The book shows theatre history as cultural history. It will be invaluable to students of Shakespeare in performance at graduate level, working in departments of English or drama/theatre and to those intrigued by the changing reputation of Shakespeare.

• This is not a standard critical edition. The special feature is the line-by-line commentary on the stage interpretations of the play • Lengthy introduction gives a general history of the play’s fortunes in the theatre • Ideal for graduate courses on Shakespeare in performance, to students already familiar with critical commentary on the play • Undergraduate students making a special study of MND will consult this in the library (as will, possibly, sixth form college students taking Theatre Studies at A level)


1. List of productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; 2. Introduction; 3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream with full commentary; 4. Bibliography; 5. Appendix: music in the productions.


‘Cambridge has come up with an excellent new series, Shakespeare in Production, which is going to be invaluable to anybody studying, acting, or producing his plays.’ Plays and Players Applause Magazine

‘Shakespeare in Production … is … ideally suited to people like me: people as interested in the stage history of a Shakespearean play as in its text. What distinguishes these editions, and makes them of particular interest to drama and theatre departments, is their unique concentration on theatrical production.’ Studies in Theatre Production

‘ A complete success … the secret lies in its copious annotation, which is entirely confined to matters of theatre history, stage-business, and actor-interpretation. The quantity and quality and fine detail of the information that Griffiths supplies is truly remarkable, as is his excellent and extensive introductory essay.’ Forum for Modern Language Studies

‘I cannot recommend too highly the whole series (a bargain at £16.99 for each play) to all theatre lovers, theatregoers, theatre practitioners, and anybody who enjoys Shakespeare.’ Robert Tanitch, What\'s on in London