Acclaimed British theater company TNT is escaping the icy chills of winter back home to bring the Shakespearean summer classic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to the stage in the fitting sunnier climes of Costa Rica. In the next two weeks, the group will give two performances at the National Theater in San José, two at Café Britt’s Teatro Dionisio in Heredia, north of San José, and an open-air performance in the northern Pacific beach community of Tamarindo.
Shakespeare’s most popular and famous comedy, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a fantastical tale of mystery, love, conflict and enchantment. It is the story of four young lovers lured into a forest by fairies who trick them with a magic potion that forces them to fall in love with the first person they see.
In an unfortunate twist, Titania, queen of the fairies, takes the potion and falls in love with a man with the head of a donkey. The hilarious play is a lighthearted laugh at human folly, but behind the spectacle and slapstick comedy is a more serious exploration of the madness and glory of falling in love.
This is TNT’s fourth project in Costa Rica. Most recently, the group brought its celebrated production of “Macbeth” to the National Theater last year, and staged “King Lear” here in 2006.
“We love Costa Rica, and we’re honored to be invited so often,” said Paul Stebbings, TNT artistic director. “Live art fits so well with the open and friendly atmosphere here. Everyone at TNT knows the phrase ‘pura vida.’”
Stebbings founded TNT Theatre Britain in Devon, southwest England, in 1980, with three unemployed actors and his mother’s car for transport. Nowadays, the company tours in more than 30 countries on three continents every year,winning praise all over the world for its original stage interpretations of modern and classic plays.
Before arriving in Costa Rica, the group took the production across Europe and Asia, from big European theaters to a ruined castle on a mountain in Germany, and from a tin-roofed theater during a Himalayan hailstorm to an audience of more than 2,000 in Beijing.
This production promises to be Shakespeare as might have graced the original Globe: truly funny, direct, visual, musical and appealing to any audience.
“I think Costa Ricans and visitors alike will relate to the play and enjoy some of the best jokes in the history of literature,” Stebbings said.