Writer: William Shakespeare
Adapted by Richard Appignanesi
Art: Kate Brown
Publisher: Self Made Hero
What’s it about?
This is an adaptation of a William Shakespeare play. To my mind, it’s the most magical and comedic one.
Theseus and Hippolyta are due to be married in Athens, Greece. Theseus servant’ Philostrade, has a daughter named Hermia. Hermia and Lysander are in love and wish to marry, however Philostrade has decided that Demetrius is an appropriate husband. Helene loves Demetrius but as he wants Hermia he is not interested in Helena.
In honour of Theseus ‘ and Hippolyta’s wedding a group of inept craftsmen decide to put on a play about star crossed lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe. It’s a tragedy where the lovers kill themselves, so not entirely fit for a wedding – I did say they were inept!
In the forests of Athens the fairy court is in session. Oberon, King of the fairies, and Titania, fairy Queen, are embroiled in an argument. Oberon wants a human boy Titania has adopted, but Titania won’t give him up. Oberon plots revenge, and here is where the plots converge...
Oberon gets his servant Puck to enchant Titania so she falls in love with the first hideous thing she sees. Hermia and Lysander have run away to get married and are pursued by Demetrius, who is in turn pursued by Helena. Oberon witnesses this and instructs Puck to enchant Demetrius to fall in love with Helena, except Puck gets it wrong and enchants Lysander instead. The enchantment of Titania is successful, as Puck gives one of the craftsmen, Bottom, a donkey’s head, and Titania falls for him.
This takes up the first half of the play. The second half concerns the humans and fairies trying to sort out the mess Puck has caused.