University of Sussex Media Release.
. University drama society brings Shakespeare up to date

11 June 2001
For immediate release

The University of Sussex Drama Society (SUDS) is bringing Shakespeare up to date with a contemporary interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Gardner Arts Centre this week.

"We're really trying to make Shakespeare more accessible and exciting," says student Sarah Bevan, the play's director. "In the dress and the mannerisms we hint at different cultures within society today. The royals are like the London Met Bar posse, snorting coke and drinking champagne. The mechanicals are like FHM-reading, beer swilling lager louts who think they're really clever but they're not, and the fairies are like techno hippies."

Sarah met producer Jenny Tyler when they were both in the play Vegetable Wars last year. "I've never been a producer ever before, and it's quite exciting," says Jenny. "It's a good play to start on, I think."

The play will also be a novel experience for first year student Peter Diment, who plays Bottom: "This is the first Shakespeare play I've done and it's a real challenge, and it's a really good play to do."

"Everybody who does Shakespeare at A Level or GCSE might think, 'Oh god, it's Shakespeare', but we're just trying to make it a bit more exciting," concludes Sarah. "It's my favourite play. It's very funny and really open to interpretation - it translates very well for what we're trying to do."

A Midsummer Night's Dream is at the Gardner Arts Centre from Wednesday 13 to Saturday 16 June. Performances start at 7.30pm and tickets are priced at 5 (4 concessions).

Notes for editors

Photo available if required.

For further information, please contact Peter Simmons or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or

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