So fellow bloggers there is two pieces of theatre news that I would like to share with you today. First up: the Royal Shakespeare Company have announced the 14 UK amateur groups that will play the mechanicals alongside professional actors in the national tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s creative team travelled 2360 miles to audition 586 amateur theatre groups in 95 workshops, with each group selected representing a region or nation of the UK.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation is the RSC’s way of bringing together theatres, amateur performers, school children and professional actors together to celebrate Shakespeare.

The production will be visiting each region of the UK, with the local theatre companies playing the Mechanicals and the school children making up Titania’s fairy train. It will open at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford in February 2016 before embarking on a nationwide tour.

A trailer including the 14 Bottoms is available to watch here: http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/dream2016/#trailer .

Erica Whyman, RSC Deputy Artistic Director, and director of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation, said:‘It has been a thrill and a privilege to meet so many talented and dedicated amateur actors from all over the United Kingdom.  We have cast people from all kinds of backgrounds, with a wonderful range of voices, shapes and sizes, but every single one of them has already demonstrated tremendous courage, skill and hard work to have survived the audition process and be selected to star in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’

Meanwhile in other news, it has been announced that Andrew Dunn (Dinnerladies) is to star as Mr Perks in the theatrical production of The Railway Children at King’s Cross station.

Other cast includes: Caroline Harker as Mother, Louise Calf as Phyllis, Clare Corbett as Mrs Perks, Jack Hardwick as Peter, Mark Hawkins as Jim/District Super, Connie Hyde as Mrs Viney, Andrew Loudon as Father/Doctor, Serena Manteghi as Bobbie, Blair Plant as Schepansky and Moray Treadwell as the Old Gentleman.

Performances take place at a purpose-built 1,000 seat theatre, created on the site on King’s Boulevard, behind King’s Cross Station, which has been loaned to the production for the duration of the run by Google.

The show is directed by Damian Cruden, the Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal (where the production originally performed) and adapted by Mike Kenny.

Edith Nesibt’s much loved children’s book tells the story of Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis, three children whose lives change dramatically when their father is mysteriously taken away.  They move from London to a cottage in rural Yorkshire with their mother, where they befriend the local railway porter, Perks, and embark on a magical journey of discovery, friendship and adventure.  But the mystery remains – where is Father, and is he ever coming back?

The Railway Children is currently booking until 6th September. Watch the trailer here:

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