Sounds of Harmony and Discord

Music plays an important part in the Chichester production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Composer Jason Carr discusses the ways in which he used sound to differentiate between the different worlds in the play: hard, metallic sounds for the court contrasting with sweet harmonies for the world of Titania and her fairies. His concern was to ensure that the music he created underscored Shakespeare's ideas and words rather than overpowering them.

For director Gale Edwards, the argument between Oberon and Titania is fundamental to understanding the play. The fairy world's control over nature is such that their falling out provokes freak storms, flooding and disease. Titania's speech in Act Two illustrates the changes in nature.

Theseus and Hippolyta also begin the play in discord. She is Theseus' prize in war, and Chichester's production makes clear some ambivalence in her initial feelings towards him. By the end of the play, the couple have mellowed, enjoying much greater harmony in their relationship.


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