Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968, Peter Hall)

TitleA Midsummer Night's Dream
Release LocationsGB
DirectorPeter Hall
MediumColor video
Length2 hrs, 4 mins
Audiencegeneral public
high school
Play ConnectionsA Midsummer Night's Dream (interpretation)


Originally made for tv and nationally broadcast in the USA in 1969, this film combines the expressionism of a Reinhardt with the realism of the Italian movie makers. Shot outdoors in Warwickshire at Compton Verney, emphasis falls on the down-to-earth problems of the young lovers (their faces are even daubed with mud). At the same time, however, the peculiar color of the terrain, the whippings about of Puck, the bizarre nature of the fairy world speak to an expressionistic, or even surrealistic, vision at odds with the mundane and prosaic. The costumes reflect also the swinging new London of the late sixties when mini-skirts and Carnaby Street dominated the scene. (A film that perfectly captures the essence of this last gasp of Victorian culture is Georgy Girl [1966], starring Lyn Redgrave and Alan Bates.)

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

TheseusDerek Godfrey
HippolytaBarbara Jefford
OberonIan Richardson
TitaniaJudi Dench
PuckIan Holm
EgeusNicholas Selby
LysanderDavid Warner
DemetriusMichael Jayston
HermiaHelen Mirren
HelenaDiana Rigg
PhilostrateHugh Sullivan
BottomPaul Rogers
QuinceSebastian Shaw
SnugClive Swift
FluteJohn Normington
SnoutBill Travers
StarvelingDonald Eccles

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorPeter Hall
ProducerMichael Birkett
EditingJack Harris
ComposerGuy Woolfenden
CostumesAnn Curtis
CameraPeter Suschitzky
ProductionJohn Bury

Company Overview

Playgroup Royal Shakespeare Company

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell