A Midsummer Night's DROLL

Theatre (comedy, classical)

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  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Award-winning Fringe favourites The Owle Schreame return with a wild, rough, raucous and ridiculous reimagining; a version of A Midsummer Night's Dream from the 1640s, originally adapted for illegal performance whilst theatre was outlawed, over 350 years ago. The Merry Conceited Humours of Bottom the Weaver has remained unperformed since. Until now. Join The Owle Schreame and make history once more, as Shakespeare spins in the ground beneath you. Folk costume made from straw, puppets made of gourds, silly songs and strange fairy lore. 'Hilarious, side-splitting nonsense and fun, yet fascinatingly informative. Don't miss!' ***** (Guardian).

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: Please be aware this venue can only be accessed by stairs. Once inside there is lift access to Basement level and then 12 steps up to venue.
  • Wheelchair access type: Not fully wheelchair accessible

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Thomas N 82 days ago

Things break, actors make mistakes, the stage is a tiny black box that the previous production left cups of urine on. But the narrative woven both within the play itself (Midsummer without any of the 4 lovers) and in the broader history of English theater (bawdy street theater keeping the flame alive during the Puritan crackdown on the medium in the 17th century) are given fiery life by the charming and funny members of Owle Schreame. Music and mugging combine into a unique version of the play that makes the audience as much a part of the action as the actors, some more literally than others.

Jo Walton 82 days ago

You know how Princess Bride is the Good Parts Version? This is like the Good Parts Version of Midsummer Night's Dream, except that it's an authentic early text, a lesson in the history of theatre, and incredibly funny. It also brings out things I'd never noticed in the play about the way the fairies were intended to be frightning -- it was always there but I never saw it before -- and how Titania's love for Bottom can be interpreted as male fear of female desire, and also female desire being funny. It's not often you see something that makes you laugh until your sides ache and also have new thoughts about Shakespeare, so see this while you can.

Ada Palmer 82 days ago

Not to be missed! This kind of raucous, organic comedy gets your whole body moving and rocking with laughter. And seeing it helps you understand better the history of comedy within early modern theater, and how the clowns and comics and songs fit into Shakespeare's world and the expectations of his audience. No one else in the world is performing these incredible plays, don't miss this chance!

Dee 83 days ago

Brilliant show! Saw it last year and went back to find it even funnier. This company is inspired.

Benjamin Peterson 85 days ago

Excellent, funny, informative, a great time despite the incredibly obscure subject matter. This is what's great about the fringe.

Kirsty R 88 days ago

Great show. Funny. Clever. And a lesson on the history of theatre.

Kathryn Wright 91 days ago

I am so happy that I finally got to see this show after missing it at the Vaults. It was clever and funny and well acted. The cast also seemed to really enjoy what they were doing. I also enjoyed feeling like I was part of theatre history.

Jon 94 days ago

Oh come on, if you haven't seen this yet it's simple: you really should. I saw it last year and again this. It was better this year - and I hope to see it again next!

This is anarchic Shakespeare played in its authenticity and at its very best. I love how it completely does away with the high-brow irrelevancy propagated by the "Elite" who wish to make Shakespeare their own, and brings it back to the ordinary people it was meant for.

Irreverent, bawdy and hilarious, yes - but also accomplished and accurate. The huge amount of work that goes into making this look like no work has gone into it at all needs to be acknowledged. Both times I've seen it, it has overrun it's time and I end up rushing to the next show so as not to be late - ah but who cares.

This is first on my list every year. Come back next year pleeeeaseee!!

Susan McGlennan 96 days ago

Great show. Great performance. Great fun. And interesting to get a unique insight into Shakespeare and his work’s influence today.

Sylvia Wilson 97 days ago

What a brilliant performance this morning. Fabulous cast with incredible timing and delivery. I loved the fairies! (You have to see them to appreciate the artistry). High energy, full of fun and just brilliant. We especially enjoyed Peter Cockerill of #thewoollysheeptheatrecompany for an excellent performance as a wall!

Cynthia Barron 99 days ago

Hands down the best Midsummer Night's Dream i'be ever seen! Hilarious and chaotic, I could have stayed for another hour and watched it all over again!!!! Never seen a Titania or an Oberon so mad! So funny, and so interesting. the educational side of it was really good, and i was really moved by the end. My very favorite show of the fringe so far!!!!

John Thorne 102 days ago

Absolutely wonderful. What a charming and ebulliant start to the fringe festival! A truly talented company with a fascinating subject matter. We were taken on a journey through what it might once have been like for the audiences watching the illegal theatre of Cromwells England, and treated to one of the best Midsummer Night Dreams I have had the good fortune of seeing! The costumes were amazing and weird in the best way, constructed of hay, and the fairies were innovative little puppets made out of dried vegetables or squashes! With song and laughter they pulled off quite the coup of energy on such a weary morning.

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FringeReview 77 days ago

The country has been turned upside down, its head of government deposed in a ruthless, cynical coup.  The nation is in uproar and bitterly divided.  Theatre and all other forms of free expression have been declared illegal resulting in the performing elite fleeing the country in search of a more...

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UK Theatre Web (4/5 stars) 84 days ago

I expected to be entertained, I did not expect to also be educated and informed. [...] This team are enthusiastic, multi-talented and entertaining. A really pleasurable way to start the day even if you are not a Shakespeare fan!

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British Theatre Guide (5/5 stars) 89 days ago

This is a “Droll”. We learn the history of this from the performers as an explanation to what is about to happen. There was a time when actors and plays were illegal. The Droll was a way to circumvent this.A Droll: “the old droll tellers travelled from village to village...

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North Westend (5/5 stars) 93 days ago

Owle Schreame have seen a gap in the crowded Shakespeare market and offer a part of history (which satisfies the theatre historians), whilst giving us the Shakespeare that we love in a fun and sweaty, exciting awesomeness. I hope to see them perform different DROLLs in future and audiences should make sure they see them once as I assure you, you will want to see them again and again!

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The Wee Review (3/5 stars) 93 days ago

A Midsummer Night’s DROLL both is and isn’t a Shakespeare play. It is based on the 1661 play The Merry Conceited Humours of Bottom the Weaver, which is in turn based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, first performed at the end of the 16th century. The company behind A Midsummer...

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The List (3/5 stars) 98 days ago

Underground 17th-century Shakespeare could do with more rowdiness...

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