BRITAIN is synonymous with comedy.

For every show our cousins across the pond offer, our comedians and writers always seem to have something that trumps it.

Rewind more than 400-years and perhaps the greatest comedy ever produced was written.

William Shakespeare’s timeless classic ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ has been entertaining, enthralling and engaging audiences for generations.

And 20-years on from when Ballet Cymru’s founder Darius James reworked the play into his own ballet, an updated edition will be heading to Basingstoke’s Haymarket Theatre on Friday night.

Catching up with The Gazette before his cast take to the stage, Darius talked about Shakespeare and how his new show has been updated.

“I love Shakespeare and what he created is a fantastic source of material,” Darius told The Gazette.

“What I find with dancing and Shakespeare is that it acts as a great introduction for kids and people who perhaps feel they won’t understand his tales because they can be quite wordy.

“Adding the comedy element is easier because you can make really big characters and personalities through dancing.”

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ sees Queen of the Fairies, Titania, and Puck, the mischievous messenger, inhabit the supernatural fairy kingdom.

Bottom and his bootwearing ‘Rude Mechanica ls’ present their famous play Pyramus and Thisbe. And finally, the lovers, caught in a thrilling web of mistaken identity and confusion, finally find their way through the Athenian forest to an unforgettable and joyous reconciliation.

Ballet Cymru has become a firm fixture within the classical ballet world, offering young, aspiring dancers a platform to shine, whilst giving a production a typically progressive reimagining.

And with his new cast in toe, Darius’ new show - mixed with Mendelssohn’s joyous music - this version of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ offers both fans of The Bard and ballet a new incite into the iconic comedy.

“It was originally choreographed in 1997 but we wanted to bring it back,” Darius said.

“Every time we put a production together we always reassess it because we have new dancers which requires them to put their own personalities into the moves.

“But I can honestly say this is the best cast we have got together for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

“It’s different and even dad’s and partner’s who have been bought along will enjoy.”

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ takes place on June 30.

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