Dream bowls over Mermaid


Bowler Crab’s hilarious production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was re-enacted magically at the Mermaid Inn in Rye’s Mermaid Street on Thursday and Friday July 11 and 12.

The production was shown to be very popular as on the Thursday night the audience was over capacity and extra seating was needed – and there were big laughs for a great comedy.

The 600-year-old inn (famous for having Shakespeare’s company visit in 1597) hosts many other Bowler Crab performances as in 2017 Bowler Crab formed a relationship with the Mermaid Inn as a performance venue.

Overall it was a perfect family occasion for old and young alike and one for all to be captivated by as the actors used the audience’s seating in their performance – and it felt as if the audience was included.

Two years ago Rye News  reported that evidence had been found proving that Shakespeare (or more certainly his theatrical company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men) had performed at The Mermaid which was established in the 12th century but had to be rebuilt in the 15th century after the French burned down most of Rye town.

It is very appropriate therefore that a modern local Shakespeare company Bowler Crab, founded by director Stephen J John, should be appearing regularly at The Mermaid staging both full-length plays and pocket versions (to accompany dinner). More detail on forthcoming activity can be found at bowler-crab.com and mermaidinn.com.

The Dream has its last performance at The Stables Theatre in Hastings on Friday night (August 1) after a tour taking in Lewes and Three Oaks as well as Rye and Hastings.

And with news of future performances, Artistic Director, Stephen John writes:

“A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life” – the greatest love story ever told performed in the 600-year-old Mermaid Inn, believed to have once been visited by Shakespeare’s company! A dining experience like no other, ‘Dining with Romeo & Juliet’ is the latest pocket production from Bowler Crab. Feast your eyes on BC’s abridged version of the romantic tragedy whilst you dine with a four course meal in the Tudor Room, the actors interacting with the audience, performing each act between each course.

In 2017 Bowler Crab became the official resident theatre company of The Mermaid Inn following the sell-out performances. A full version of Romeo & Juliet was first performed by Bowler Crab back in 2014 and now by popular demand, we bring you the debut of our shortened ‘pocket production’ on Thur 19th September! Previous dining experience versions of Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night have all sold out at The Mermaid Inn so book now!

Image Credits: Bowler Crab Productions .

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