Brook's A Midsummer Night's Dream 1970
The Royal Shakespeare Company
of the most influential Shakespeare productions of the 20th century
was Peter Brooks
A Midsummer's Night Dream,
designed by Sally Jacobs and first staged in 1970.
Barnes, theatre critic for the New York Times, wrote:
Once in a while, once in a very rare while, a theatrical
production arrives that is going to be talked about as long as there
is a theatre, a production that, for good or ill, is going to exert
a major influence on the contemporary stage.
exhibition presents images from this production of
A Midsummer Nights Dream.
It aims to illustrate the design and production choices which marked
Brook's work as a landmark in contemporary theatre history and to
show how it contrasted with productions which preceded it and
influenced productions which came after.
following aspects of the play are captioned and illustrated. Please
click on the appropriate icon for the information.
Each section includes images from Brook's production and examples
from other Stratford productions for comparison:
images are drawn from the Shakespeare Centre Librarys
photographic collections, which include the Thomas Holte Theatre
Photographic Collection, the Thos. F. and Mig Holte Collection and
the Joe Cocks Studio Collection, which record productions by the
Shakespeare Memorial Theatre and the RSC from 1952 onwards.
A major part of the
Shakespeare Centre Librarys collection comprises
the archive of the Royal Shakespeare Company and its predecessors
from the beginning of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1879, to
the foundation of the RSC in 1961, to the present day. There are
records of every RSC production in London and on tours at home and
abroad, as well as in Stratford-upon-Avon, including newscuttings,
programmes, prompt books, music, designs and photographs.
information about the cast of Brooks Dream,
the dates of openings and the venues at which it was performed can
be found by consulting the Royal Shakespeare Company Archives FESTE
database, compiled by the Shakespeare Centre Library, available at