This Wednesday, we went up to the Northcott Theatre on campus to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream, put on by theatre company Custom/Practice. As it happens, one of my housemate’s best friends from home is currently their Company Manager, so we were able to blag free tickets (thanks Will!)
I haven’t read AMND since we studied in year 9 at school so it was definitely a fun refresher. This production begins in a detention room in a secondary school, before the students are transported into magical fairy world, which was a fun twist. Titania the Fairy Queen remains one of my all-time favourite Shakespeare characters, and the whole play itself was very funny – it’s so much easier to pick up on Shakespearean comedy (in the modern sense of the word) when it’s live and in front of you! The ridiculous tableau scene at the end had the whole audience laughing – it was very bizarre but very, very funny.
After the show, the night took a certain twist for the surreal. We’d arranged to meet up with Kate’s friend Will (company manager) for cocktails, and he’d told us he might bring “some of the cast.” As it happened, he brought the entire cast, and so we headed off into town with quite the entourage.
We were heading for Oddfellows for cocktails, but when we got there the upstairs cocktail bar was closed for a private party! We were more than a little devastated but as it was already past 11 and this is Exeter, we decided to settle for the downstairs bar, which is much more like a pub. We shared a couple of bottles of wine (again – thanks Will), bonded with the cast members, who are all great fun, and generally felt like theatre VIPs for the night. Possibly the weirdest moment came when the group at the next table recognised some of the cast and started telling us all how much they loved the show! Obviously the four of us were perfectly happy to take some credit for the fabulousness.
Eventually it became clear that the place was closing and so we parted ways with the rest of the cast and took Will back to ours to continue the catch up. I love these kinds of random and slightly bizarre nights that are becoming so typical of our life! It was a lovely way to get in some culture and also made me realise that we should really utilise the Northcott more often (especially if we can get free tickets!). I’d definitely recommend Custom/Practice and if they’re ever touring near you, be sure to go. And in the meantime, this means that Oddfellows’ famed cocktail list remains on the bucket list!