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Liam Scarlett’s Enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream To Close 2021 For Royal New Zealand Ballet

The weather fairies have delivered a touch of warmth, Summer’s peeking around the corner, and the end of the year nears. At the same time, the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) dancers have begun rehearsals for the upcoming, Christmas season of their beloved, beautiful production, the Ryman Healthcare Season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, created by British choreographer Liam Scarlett.

Lovers, fairies, mischief and moonlight conspire in one of Shakespeare’s most beloved classic tales, which will bring joy and cheer to theatres across the country from 28 October.

RNZB Artistic Director Patricia Barker says, “At the end of another COVID year, we will again celebrate the power and beauty of the arts. Performing this magical production, to Mendelssohn’s sumptuous score, is a Christmas treat for audiences everywhere.”

Choreographed by the late Liam Scarlett at the beginning of his international career, the joyous production was an overnight sensation, performing to capacity audiences throughout New Zealand, in 2015 and 2016.

“This special work was made for our company by a choreographer whose talent, energy and sheer delight were contagious. Creating this work with Liam was among the happiest of times for our company. His A Midsummer Night’s Dream has stood the test of time – it is in our DNA. We cherish this production and will honour Liam’s memory and his beautiful artistic legacy with every sparkling step,” Barker says.

Distinguished New Zealand designer Tracy Grant Lord’s glorious vision of Shakespeare’s iconic characters and enchanted wood, illuminated with lighting by Kendall Smith, is a feast for the senses. It complements former RNZB Music Director Nigel Gaynor’s beautifully crafted full-length ballet score, drawn from Mendelssohn’s much-loved incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and interspersed with orchestral arrangements of the composer's works for solo piano and chamber music, and featuring other magical orchestral works including the atmospheric overture ‘The Hebrides’.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is the sixth major RNZB production to be sponsored by Ryman Healthcare, and the RNZB looks forward to welcoming Ryman residents and staff to performances all over Aotearoa.

Ryman Healthcare Group Chief Executive Gordon MacLeod said Ryman’s residents were strong supporters of the ballet.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be able to support the RNZB’s interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s finest comedies. We think it’ll be a tonic to look forward to before Christmas, and a wonderful spectacle for thousands of Kiwis,’’ he says.

The production will tour up and down the country – from Invercargill to Takapuna – from 28 October to 11 December. Performances in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland will be accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Paul Christ. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a co-production between the Royal New Zealand Ballet and Queensland Ballet. The Ryman Healthcare Season of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is presented in association with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.


“There is a stunning symmetry between the brilliant choreography of acclaimed British choreographer Liam Scarlett, the inspired set and costume design by Tracy Grant Lord and Kendall Smith's superb lighting. Together they have created a spell-filled, enchanted world.”– The Press

“It is serendipity in a production when all the elements come together in one harmonious and glorious whole…with the RNZB’s sparkling new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream the company has hit the jackpot. Without question this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a triumph for the RNZB and for all the many skilled people who were part of its realisation.” – DANZ

“…featuring a glistening and luminous mise-en-scene rendered so beautifully by a painterly integration of lighting design, sets, and costumes. This mise-en-scene is a wonderful collaboration between two defining features of this production. It is only matched by the amazing and intricate relationship between choreography and score, between the dancing and an exceptional performance by the orchestra.” – Theatreview

A Midsummer Night’s Dream season information

Wellington | 28 October to 31 October | Opera House
Napier | 5 November to 6 November | Municipal Theatre
Palmerston North | 11 November | Regent on Broadway
Christchurch | 18 November to 20 November | Isaac Theatre Royal
Invercargill | 24 November | Civic Theatre
Dunedin | 27 November | Regent Theatre
Auckland City | 2 December to 5 December | Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre
Takapuna | 10 December to 11 December | Bruce Mason Centre

More information here.
Images here

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