Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1981, Elijah Moshinsky)

TitleA Midsummer Night's Dream
Release LocationsGB
DirectorElijah Moshinsky
MediumColor video
Length2 hrs
Audiencegeneral public
high school
junior high
Play ConnectionsA Midsummer Night's Dream (teleplay)
SeriesThe Shakespeare Plays


After 1980 with Jonathan Miller as the new producer replacing Cedric Messina, the BBC Shakespeare Plays increasingly stressed the contemporaneousness of Shakespeare's plays. That is to say, an effort was made to copy the life styles of Shakespeare's own period as portrayed in the works of the great masters of the Italian and Northern Renaisssance. The theory was that in Shakespeare's playhouses only the principals were likely to wear authentic costumes anyway no matter what the time period. A famous engraving actually shows a performance of Titus Andronicus in which the major actors wear Roman dress but the lesser persons are garbed as Elizabethans. In this Midsummer Night's Dream the influence of Rembrandt is particularly apparent with special reference to Danae's Bower. The results, as also with director Moshinksy's very baroque All's Well, are not merely visually striking but also historically appropriate

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

TheseusNigel Davenport
HippolytaEstelle Kohler
OberonPeter McEnery
TitaniaHelen Mirren
PuckPhil Daniels
EgeusGeoffrey Lumsden
LysanderRobert Lindsay
DemetriusNicky Henson
HermiaPippa Guard
HelenaCherith Mellor
PhilostrateHugh Quarshie
BottomBrian Glover
QuinceGeoffrey Palmer
SnugRay Mort
FluteJohn Fowler
SnoutNat Jackley
StarvelingDon Estelle
PeaseblossomBruce Savage
CobwebMassimo. Mezzofanti
MothDominic Martelli
MustardseedTimothy Cross
FairyTania Bennett
Second FairyLee Macdonald
First FairyLouise Mason
FairyAlexandra Segal

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorElijah Moshinsky
ProducerJonathan Miller
ComposerStephen Oliver
ChoreographyEleanor Fazan
Adaptor/TranslatorDavid Snodin
Production ManagerMike Jackley
CostumesAmy Roberts
CostumesReg Samuel
MakeupJenny Shircore
LightingJohn Summers
SoundDerek Miller-Timmins
ProductionDavid Myerscough-Jones

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell