British Residents’ Association of Switzerland

Midsummer Night’s Dream- Chateau de Chillon

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” The course of true love never did run smooth “,( act 1,sc.i ) when it came to the relationship between me, as organizer, and the human and natural elements involved in this event. The saga began when the owner of the restaurant where the pre performance dinner was to be held, telephoned the previous weekend to say that he was not opening, but as a consolation, permission was granted to use the restaurant covered terrace for a picnic, (” Lord, what fools these mortals be. act 3,sc.ii).  And so our group did just that, conviviality helped with some fine Lavaux red wine.
Crossing the road to the Chateau, it began to pour with rain. (“Look in the almanack: find out moonshine, find out moonshine “.act3, sc.i). Theatre staff handed out free rain ponchos so we all sat wrapped in sandwich film as ” the snake throws her enamelled skin, weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in. ( act 2,sc.i).
Then, just before the performance began an announcement was made that one of the actors had been taken ill, so the parts of Hermia, Titania, and other parts too numerous to mention, were to be played by Hippolyta. She had a very busy evening !!- albeit reading her extra roles with script in hand. Undaunted,  the spell, and spirit of Shakespeare’s fairy world began to overwhelm us, and we were indeed persuaded that  ” Cupid is a knavish lad, thus to make poor females mad ” (act3, sc.ii).
Sitting in the front row it was easy to be absorbed by the enthusiasm, ingenuity, and ability of five young actors playing eleven roles with plenty of costume changes. Play ended, rain stopped, and an exit to the accompaniment of a beautiful sunset and appreciation of our own midsummer’s evening where we all knew to find,

” ……. a bank whereupon the wild thyme blows,
Where oxslips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine. ( act2,sc.i)

 Andrew Konecki