Bear Pit joins Royal Shakespeare Company


Six actors from The Bear Pit have been cast in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s forthcoming innovative production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which opens in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre between 17 February – 5 March 2016!

Performing in the roles of the ‘Mechanicals’, alongside a cast of 18 professional actors, are Shirley Allwork (Starveling, the Tailor), Charlotte Froud (Snug, the Joiner), Roger Ganner (Quince, the Carpenter), David Mears (Bottom, the Weaver), Dominic Skinner (Flute, the Bellows Mender) and David Southeard (Snout, the Tinker).

The Bear Pit cast will initially rehearse under their own director Nicky Cox before joining the professional creative team led by RSC Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman, from January 2016.

After opening in Stratford, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation will visit another 11 theatres in each region and nation of the UK, where the roles of the Mechanicals will be played by a different amateur theatre company in each venue.

The BBC will be capturing all of the action in ‘The Best Bottoms in the Land’ which will follow the RSC’s unique journey around the UK.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation is a co-production between the Royal Shakespeare Company and amateur theatre companies across the UK. This is an arrangement developed between the RSC and Equity.

A video trailer featuring David Mears, the actor from the Bear Pit who plays one of the Bottoms can be seen on the RSC’s website

Commenting Simon Allen, chairman of The Bear Pit said: “We’re absolutely thrilled and honoured to be included in this very exciting production, which underlines the talent of all our actors at The Bear Pit. This is definitely a dream come true and recognises the ability and passion amongst everyone involved with our little theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.”

Commenting on The Bear Pit, the RSC casting team said, “We were properly impressed by your audition. You presented your work with real sophistication and nuance and allowed us to develop your ideas and interrogate new directions; the results of which we found very exciting.”

During the run in Stratford Kidderminster’s The Nonentities theatre company will also play the roles of the Mechanicals at certain performances.