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


An interview in the UK Sunday Times revealed that actor David Tennant was originally hired to direct this TV special, but had to drop out (being replaced by David Kerr) due to personal life issues related to Tennant's wife's pregnancy. Tennant still acted unofficially as writer Russell T Davies' personal 'Shakespeare expert' during the time he was working on it. See more »


Version of The Children's Midsummer Night's Dream (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Bottom's up
30 May 2016 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Russell T Davies certainly has taken inspiration from Baz Luhrmann and given Shakespeare a vigorous shake up and update.

In the tyrannical court of Athens which is mocked up with Nazi type regalia, dictator Theseus plans his wedding to Hippolyta, who is trussed just like Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. Meanwhile young Hermia is sentenced to death by her own father as she refuses to marry Demetrius but becomes enchanted with the Harry Potter like Lysander. Meanwhile her friend Helena pines for Demetrius who ignores her. In the forest they fall to mischievous behaviour by the fairies.

In the town an amateur theatre group make plans to rehearse a play for the court but Bottom himself becomes transformed to an ass and finds that the fairy Titania has fallen for him thanks to spells woven by the spurned Oberon and aided by Puck.

RTD reunited with the Doctor Who production team for technical, visual and special effects and composer Murray Gold who brings bombastic music to accompany the imagery. There are some nice touches of RTD's humour. The patrons of the local inn are watching 'The Comedy of Errors' on television which is actually 'You've been Framed.'

Once we enter the forest, it becomes a bit trippy and the pared down text works a treat. I read this play at a school and it was rather unfathomable but here the way RTD has presented it on screen it really works.

It all ends with a bit of a sing song from Bernard Cribbins. What more can you want.

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