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A Midsummer Night's Dream (2016)

A modern re-telling of the classic fantasy drama by William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream holds a star-studded cast with euphoric effects and melodramatic storytelling.


David Kerr


Russell T. Davies (adaptation), William Shakespeare (based on the play by)

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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
John Hannah ... Theseus
Maxine Peake ... Titania
Matt Lucas ... Bottom
Nonso Anozie ... Oberon
Eleanor Matsuura ... Hippolyta
Richard Wilson ... Starveling
Bernard Cribbins ... Snout
Colin McFarlane ... Egeus
Paapa Essiedu ... Demetrius
Elliot Levey ... Philostrate
Elaine Paige ... Mistress Quince
Javone Prince Javone Prince ... Snug
Fisayo Akinade ... Flute
Varada Sethu ... Peaseblossom
Hiran Abeysekera ... Puck


Tyrannical dictator Theseus brings his captive bride, Amazonian queen Hippolyta, to Athens for a forced, dynastic union whilst statesman Egeus sentences his daughter Hermia to death for spurning arranged marriage to Demetrius in favour of true love Lysander, with whom she escapes to the woods. Demetrius follows, along with Helena who is besotted with him. Also in the woods a group of amateur actors, including pompous Nick Bottom, are rehearsing a play to perform at the ducal wedding. All are unaware that the fairy rulers of the woods. Oberon and Titania are engaged in a feud with Oberon taking revenge on his wife, helped by the sprite Puck, which involves her falling in love with the first person she sees - namely Bottom wearing a donkey's head. The four lovers are similarly bewitched by the charm and much confusion results before order is restored and the play goes ahead, with the fairies ensuring happy endings - for those who deserve it. Written by don @ minifie-1

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TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 May 2016 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Sommernachtstraum See more »

Filming Locations:

BBC Studios, Cardiff, Wales, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Cymru Wales See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The fairytale forest was filmed in Puzzlewood (Dr Who, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). See more »


Version of A Midsummer's Nightmare (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

I'd love to vote 10 out of 10
31 May 2016 | by rboysdadSee all my reviews

This is a daft and lovely play given a new bbc adaptation devised by Russell T Davies. The sense of the play comes through very well, and Maxine Peake's Titania is great, an actress who understands how to get the meaning across, whereas Michelle Pfeiffer in the 1999 Hollywood showing is less punkish than Peake (who is also wonderfully randy) but Pfeiffer seems not to understand the poetry or know how to get it over. Peake does.

This production is for me enormously weakened by the presence of Matt Lucas who I find moderatelyh funny in some things he does, but the sub plot of the mechanicals can be terribly tedious and stupid and Lucas does his level best to make it worse. In the 1999 film Kevin Kline famously steals (perhaps) the whole film with his Bottom, and the whole group of nitwits, Roger Rees, Sam Rockwell et al. - the casting of these talents impresses versus the buffoonery of the bbc attempt.

It's hard to dislike RTD's work, though I think he's nuts to make Athens a fascist state and to kill off Theseus like that, but the whole thing is so mad that I reckon it's all fair game. The lesbian and gay touches (I noticed 3 - Demetrius loves Lysander for a bit, Titania and Hippolyta snog, and a guard and a black man are very smitten thanks to Puck (both Pucks, Stanley Tucci and the less pronounceable beauty in the bbc version are superb)are lovely, though. I note there is a version by Julie Taymor but I've searched the net and it's not available. Maybe it is perfect and not another curates's egg?

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