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A Midsummer Night’s Dream: No lack of comedy in 25th season

Repercussion Theatre’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park will be celebrating its 25th season this summer in Montreal with two performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in NDG Park and behind the Mount Royal chalet.

A mix of young talent, established Montreal performers and Repercussion alumni will bring to life the classic comedic tale of love and magic.

Playing the role of Nick Bottom, NDG actor Alain Goulem will be making his seventh performance in a Repercussion Theatre play, having participated in the 1990 rendition of The Comedy of Errors.

It was his first performance out of theatre school and one he’ll never forget. He met his wife and mother of his four children, actress/playwright Alexandria Haber, and forged many long-lasting friendships.

Now, 23 years later, he’s relishing the opportunity to act as a mentor of sorts to some of the young talent.

“It’s a really great group of young, talented and motivated actors,” he told the paper.

An acclaimed actor and director, Goulem will be taking off his director’s hat and is looking forward to the different challenges that come with performing live outdoors.

“You have to accept that anything can happen,” he said.

“If there’s a plane, or cars, or even a train going by, you have to acknowledge the elements. That’s the great thing about live theatre, everything happens in the moment.”

Though Bottom usually provides comic relief in the Shakespearean tale, Goulem said there will be no lack of comedy throughout the entire play.

“Some of these younger actors are genuinely very, very funny,” he said.

Côte-des-Neiges actress Danielle Desormeaux will be playing both Peter Quince and Egeus, whom she described as “a bit of a tyrant, someone who stands for the old school.”

It’s her third time performing in the summer play, and her first since taking part in Repercussion’s Romeo and Juliet in the summer of 2010.

“It’s really rejuvenated my love for outside theatre,” she said.

Though not everyone is comfortable with the language used in Shakespearean plays, Desormeaux thinks the park setting makes it a little more accessible to everyone, and a little less daunting.

“It’s like bringing opera to the common man,” she said.

“If we do our job properly, even though some of it is a different language that we don’t really speak anymore, people should still be able to connect with it. I think the themes still resonate with people, they’re still going on.”

This year being the 25th anniversary, a dozen alumni will be coming back to celebrate the program’s success.

When director Amanda Kellock called Desormeaux about taking part in this year’s edition, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with some old friends.
“That was the biggest reason why I said yes,” she said.

Performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take place behind the Mount Royal chalet on July 11 at 6:30 p.m. and in NDG Park on July 23 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free or on a “give what you can” basis.

Jesse Feith
Courtesy photo: Sabrina Reeves

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