2019 - Midsummer Night's Dream


        A Midsummer Night's Dream was first presented in 1978 and then again in 2001.

Dates & Location

Royden Park, Frankby, Wirral


Tickets on sale from the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton via Ticketswirral.com

Day Stands A & C Stands A & C Stand B
Monday, Tuesday £12.00 £14.00 £16.00
Wednesday, Thursday £16.00 £18.00 £20.00
Friday, Saturday Evening £18.00 £20.00 £22.00
Saturday Matinee £10.00 £12.00 £14.00


Each ticket is subject to a £1.50 booking fee by Floral Pavilion.

Book a Parent and child ticket
Available on Monday and Tuesday

Discounts for Group bookings
Available for all performances

VIP Package available in Stand B - for just an additional £20 per ticket
Cava and Canapes, meet the Directors, complimentary programmes, the best seats in the house.

The production team



                                  Ruth Stenhouse

                                     Stuart Rathe

Stage Manager Gareth Cooper
Assisted by Ben Howarth, Ian Tyrer, Gemma Davidson, Richard Davidson,
Charles Riley
Choreography Lucy Kirkbright
Set Design and build Nigel Cooper, Richard Smith and the stage crew
Costume team Nessa Garland, Gill Breckon, Jan Smith, Tracey Guest
Hair Chris Cain, Zena Lark, Claire Whiteley
Makeup Caroline Watkinson
Props Ian Tyrer, Nessa Garland
Sound Peter Elliott
Lighting Nigel Cooper
Chief Electrician Simon Ollman
Lighting crew Daniel Ellis, Ray Byrne, Sea Con'al Rainey

Hillbark Players would like to give their thanks to Craig, Lisa and all at Hillbark Hotel and Spa for the use of their grounds and facilities.



Schools Matinee Programme




Stand C Banner

Post Office screens

Heron Road roundabout banner

Floral Pavilion brochure

Audition Poster

Heswall Magazine

Wirral Globe

Original Poster design

Comments received via email, letter, twitter etc.

'Do pass on my heartfelt congratulations to all cast and directors ... it was amazing. I think the best Hillbark players production I have seen yet!'  KW

'My friend and I both thought it was the best Hillbark we have attended overall'    HP

'I had a wonderful evening at Midsummer Night's Dream and hope the whole week goes well. Well done to everybody involved. I think it is an excellent production and the set is brilliant.' M

Wow Sal, we really enjoyed the performance.  The best we’ve seen and as Rick (who loves his Shakespeare) said “by a long, long way”.  The acting was superb, the costumes (including hair and make-up) were amazing,  and the setting – magical.  And ALL you guys really made the most of the comedy and mystique.  The obvious characters were absolutely brilliant (Puck and Bottom) and the mechanicals’ play conveyed the ‘ham’ to perfection. I was also captivated by the fairies with their costumes and movements but also loved their displayed curiosity during the interaction with the audience at the interval.  The young couples were really impressive (I especially loved Helena’s performance) and hats off again to the costumes with the rocker/lindy bop type dynamic. The ‘grown ups’ (both mortal and not) all gave terrific turns and each held their own.  Finally your producer/directors deserve credit after credit after credit as the whole thing pulled together brilliantly and (as it was not what I was expecting) delightfully!  This probably sounds like a review Sal and I’m sorry, it’s just that I didn’t want to leave anyone out as everyone was so good! Rick and I really cannot praise it enough.  What a fabulous night’s entertainment! MS

Brilliant production, best ever, loved the mix of 50s and traditional. JW

Absolutely amazing performance last night of Midsummer Night's Dream, all of the cast were brilliant, so much talent. I really enjoyed myself, laughed so much!!! Thank you to all involved... SL

Just wanted to let you know how much we all enjoyed tonight’s performance.
It was a treat for my mum (retired English teacher) who said it was the best performance of midsummer night’s dream she has ever seen.  She’s 82 so she’s seen it a few times!
It was such an amazing performance.  We are sitting here arguing over the best bit - so many to choose from.  We are delighted that we get to see it all again on Saturday - the kids cannot wait.
Thanks again for a lovely evening. CW

Great team producing an amazing event. One for Wirral to be proud of. Don't miss out, get your tickets now!  RH

Your productions never fail to deliver. Great entertainment, everyone was very enthusiastic, really enjoyed it....loved the 50's theme xx  NC

Went tonight - absolutely loved it. So full of energy and wit plus really brought the bard’s words to life. Thanks for a real treat x MW

Brilliant performances!  Costumes, make up and hair all brilliant!  Not to be missed. X JCP

Wonderful performance this evening AM

Congratulations to you all on a fantastic show, loved the twist and great performances from all the cast. A must see show. The amount of hard work put in to this show was clear to see. Enjoy the rest of your week. X JJ

My most sincere!! Congratulations!! to the cast and crew of A Midsummer Night's Dream.  An inspired and engaging production from beginning to end. The directing partnership of Stuart and Ruth has clearly resulted in a most entertaining and impressive piece of theatre!  The staging, the lighting and the use of sound were precise, effective and magical. The brilliant set design provided a solid platform for all of the engaging and at times phrenetic activity that occurred upon it.   The costume designer deserves a serious accolade in my opinion - Oberon's costume par example! Great make-up too!  The 'Mechanicals' were superb as a comedic ensemble with outstanding performances by all concerned!!  The 'Mortals' and the 'Fairies' were as equally impressive!
Speaking of the 'Mortals' can I just say to Fiona, Francesca, Ben & Dan - seriously well done to all of you!!

The Hillbark Players are littered with talent and impressive performers, so it is definitely unfair to single out any one individual performance but on this occasion, I have to state that in my humble opinion Andy Jordan as Puck in this production was quite simply superb!  Very best wishes to all of you for the rest of the run and be seriously proud of your endeavours as this is a most sterling theatrical experience.  CH

What a fantastic production! Loved the fifties theme and the setting and thought the acting was of the highest standard.  The overall impression was one of great fun and humour and that was before the mechanicals’ play, which really was the icing on the cake. Well done to all thank you for a great evening. GT

What a brilliant performance of A Midsummer Nights Dream tonight at Royden Park. So funny and easy to understand. If you haven’t already got a ticket , try and get one. Well done to all the cast and crew and Stuart Rathe who directed.  SJ

After watching the wonderful Hillbark Players’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I was moved to pen this little ode in tribute:
Spellbound eyes of green-glade hue, Lovers touched and charged anew
Voices rise and laughter forged, Song of dreams well lit by torch.
Movement of a filly foal, Shining Grace on three foot stool
Promise of the night’s cool air, Brings beings of the forest lair
Kings and queens, spirit and soil, Players cut seam through joy and toil
Black-browed night gives way to dawn, Cobwebs of the spell are shorn
Deep within the forest glade, Came soldiers with their treasures made
Eve of night, break of day, A wondrous tale wrought into play.
Charles Riley

A truly spellbinding performance from the entire cast of Hillbark Players’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Really really wonderful. See it if you can. You’ll miss out on something special if you don’t. Huge congratulations to all, especially Ruth Stenhouse and Stuart Rathe for their brilliant interpretation. Charles Riley

Congratulations Hilbark What a fantastic production of- A Midsummers Nights Dream.  JB

Went to last night’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We took our 9 year old granddaughter as a first time real play experience and she came out absolutely buzzing. She can't wait to go again.    We have been to several of their previous productions, both comic and serious. We have always enjoyed them so it was great to know we added another future regular to your audience.  We will of course be back ourselves in the future - these plays are great bi-annual fixture in our summer calendar. Well presented, well acted, a unique environment and such a bargain price. It also doesn't really matter where you sit you still get a great view and are never far from the action.  Once again can not recommend these plays highly enough, long may Hillbark Players prosper.  MA

Whether you’re a Shakespeare fan or not I urge you not to miss Hillbark Players production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by our own Ruth Stenhouse and Stuart Rathe in which you will spot several faces you will recognise from Neston Players. It’s on for 3 more nights with a matinee on Saturday as well. I was at yesterday’s Schools Matinee and the children had an absolute ball. Congratulations Hillbark on yet another stunning performance.  JL

Now I’m not proud to admit, that I am not a fan of Shakespeare’s comedies. I never have been and I struggle to find adaptations that convince me otherwise...but I think Hillbark have done it.  I know they put of a cracking show and knew the overall feel of the show would be grand in scale, but I didn’t expect it to be so funny!   And funny in the way that it is supposed to be, rather than putting jokes in where they don’t belong.  Costumes are a wonder and look like something out of a Guillermo del Toro film.  Acting more than on point, not a single weak performance. The energy of the cast was contagious as they threw themselves from one end of the stage to the other.
Cannot recommend enough. Go see it, it is worth your time.   If only because it made me rethink the idea of Shakespeare actually making me laugh.   AS

Fantastic performance tonight. Thank you. Great actors, venue and refreshments. GW

Hi Ruth.
Good to see you for a few minutes after the play last evening.   Ruth, we absolutely loved this adaptation of MND. Laughed hugely and clapped loudly. The best production of this play that I've ever seen. Huge congratulations to one and all, but especially to you and Stuart.  AS

What a fantastic production! I loved the modern slant on a much loved classic. All of the actors were excellent and well done to everyone involved from the Producer, makeup, costume, sound and lighting to the security and tea servers ( and anyone else I haven’t mentioned!) Well done and thank you for a fantastic night.   JF

What a magical evening! Brilliant performances from every single person - so entertaining,  from beginning to end. I can’t wait to see it again on Saturday. Congratulations to everyone. X HN

Congratulations Hillbark Players! ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ - the funniest evening out for a long time!! KY

Magical first experience of Shakespeare for my three daughters!   EI

Congratulations on a fantastic evening's entertainment. I loved every minute, so imaginative and laugh out loud funny. Best Hillbark I've seen. ❤ RB

Many congratulations to Hillbark Players on its 1950s version of the 'Dream'.....it certainly went with a swing!  Wonderful performances from all on stage; a real triumph, thoroughly enjoyed it.  It even had an excessively exuberant member of the audience escorted out at the end. Heady stuff indeed! All good wishes for the rest of the run.  D & G

Superb show, it is not often I laugh out loud and tap my feet on a night out.  F

Went to the performance last night can't praise it enough , what a joy , the cast ,setting, costumes and interpretation was wonderful . Well done all .  MMc

Fantastic performance and production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We had a lovely entertaining evening, thank you for all your hard work in putting on such great open air plays! ❤ PSY

Fantastic performance, loved Andy Jordan as Puck in particular. Will definitely return next year! JR

We went to Friday night’s performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream.  We can truly say what a magical magnificent night it was.  It was just brilliant if you ever get the chance it is a must see event on the Wirral.  Top marks for all involved what a truly professional & enjoyable experience.  Great venue great people thank you RF

We went to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream last night - what a fabulous show! My 11 year old daughter said it was the best theatre she’s seen. Hilarious, exciting and visually stunning. Loved it!  JW

Thank you for an amazing afternoon. From my 8 Yr old son to my 80 Yr old mum we all loved it! My 11 Yr old said "it's the best thing I have EVER seen!". A lovely introduction to Shakespeare for the children! Your actors are fantastic and the interaction with the audience is wonderful x. GL

Brilliant performance from all the cast, absolutely loved it. Thanks from myself, my sister & my teenage son! VL

Fantastic plays, every two years.  This year's play is a must.  Xx JS

What a fabulous performance of A ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ this afternoon by Hillbark Players, set in the 1950’s but without losing the magic of Shakespeare’s words. Congratulations to the Directors Ruth Stenhouse and Stuart Rathe and to such a talented cast. The setting in Royden Park is magical and full marks to the set team. Break a leg at your final performance tonight and party long into the night.  JL

Stuart Rathe and Ruth, what a spectacular show! Every detail thought through, from the entrance to the grande finale. Loved the revolving ‘boudoir’. Very well done and huge congratulations. Brilliant cast!❤️❤️❤️ MC

Thank you to you and Stuart and everyone involved for a fantastic show. Truly can't express my envy at not being involved in it. Loved it! Well done. All that hard work was worth it!   IM

Oh my days. What a fantastic evening. Pure entertainment and so many laughs. One of the best things I’ve ever seen. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.  Well done to everyone involved but hats off to Stuart Rathe and Ruth Stenhouse for incredible vision and direction. Outstanding!!  CB

Hillbark Players, take a bow. Scintillating performance. SH

Tonight's Hillbark Players 'A Midsummer Nights Dream' was easily the best Shakespearean production I've seen in a long, long time. No hesitation in awarding it 'Top Marks' ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ RS

What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday evening  ! Fabulous ... SMc

It's hard to put into words how magical last night was! Hillbark's staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!  Congratulations to all involved. Haven't laughed & smiled so much in ages.  If you get a chance, and there are tickets left, you must go and see it. Last day today (matinee & evening performances). MW

Absolutely Awesome play absolutely loved every minute of it!! My favourite character was the sexy ass!! Great job to all the cast you put your heart into that performance!! The crew behind the scenes did an amazing job with the creating the atmosphere!! Great night all Thank you!!

Guys, I managed to speak to some of you this afternoon, but not everyone. Just wanted to say "thank you" for a really great show. It was full of energy and fun. Strong performances across the board. Fantastic fairies and amazing costumes. The funniest Mechanicals I've seen in years. I NEVER do standing ovations, but was right on my feet at the end. You made a play I know well seem fresh and new and I loved every minute of it. All the hard work and passion you've put in paid absolute dividends. Congratulations. WO’N

It was a great show, lovely to hear the actor's clearly without amplification. Easier to follow than some TV nowadays. Thank you Hillbark Players. LP

Despite only living just over a mile away from Hillbark and having been here since 1987, this was my first visit to your theatre production. I will definitely come next year. Do you present anywhere else?   It was a most enjoyable evening. Thanks Regards AC

Just back from the matinee - what an incredibly enjoyable romp! great performances - both from time served Hillbark old lags and a new generation of energetic and talented players - a great production concept, extremely well executed and really good fun ... churlish to pick out one performance from within such a strong company but, for the portrayal of an am dram director on the edge, then take a bow Director Quince! good luck team Hillbark for your final performance - our fingers are crossed in Shrewsbury for fine weather on the Wirral!   PK

I have just been to see this in Royden Park. My first visit, I live in Wales and have never been able to make it before, however my Sister-in-law and her Daughter go every other year.   I thoroughly enjoyed your adaptation, It was very well done.  I loved the costumes & makeup, they were fantastic. The acting was excellent and not at all amateurish, which I was half expecting , but no it was extremely well done. Thank you, I hope to visit again. PS

The ever popular, A midsummer Night’s dream, can prove a challenge to keep fresh and original but this afternoon Hillbark players achieved a triumph of this old favourite with some creative direction and choreography, a simple but effective set (Titania’ bower wonderful) splendid costumes, great use of music and a very good cast.  Yes it was funny, stylish, accessible and all that came from the energy that was injected into it.  Taking the brave step to update it to the fifties worked very well and the up tempo music really was a crowd pleaser.  Of all Shakespeare’s plays the Dream is really an ensemble piece with no leading parts.  Sometimes it’s the fairies who take centre stage, sometimes the young lovers or the mechanicals but in each there were some real highlights.  The young lovers confusion in the woods was directed exceptionally well bringing out the strengths in all four actors  In the fairies The darker side really worked well with funny but some times menacing Puck who’s physicality was engaging. The beautiful poetic Irish lilt of Oberon in a fab outfit and Titania looking steam punky and giving the roll some bite.
The hilarious clowns led by the wonderful director Quince, each giving their own unique performance (you would have to see it to appreciate it) Bottom’s song is a great surprise!. with a funny original Hippolyta and a stylish Egea ( dresses to die for) the whole thing made for a brilliant afternoons entertainment. Well done to all the team. I definitely can say Hillbark -  one of yer best !! Bev Clark

Year 5 and 6 enjoyed today's visit to @HillbarkPlayers wonderful open air production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at Royden Park with our very own Mrs Poston in the role of Titania! Don't miss out on your tickets! Dawpool Primary

@HillbarkPlayers @WestKirbyToday  A Midsummer Night’s Dream hilarious last night.  What a talented group! Wardrobe, cast and setting fabulous. SC

Go on, I always thought it a bit lightweight but I loved this production. Actually laughing out loud for much of the second half. Puck & Quince brilliant! NI

Year 8 students went to see @HillbarkPlayers hilariously entertaining ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ today! Thank you to Mrs Stenhouse, Miss Jolly and all the incredible actors for such a lovely day  @WKGS_English

@HillbarkPlayers Gosh it was good to return to the scene of many former triumphs last night. Lovely show deserving the standing ovation I & others gave it. Andy Jordan as Puck was superb & the Mechanicals played their scenes to perfection.  The 'tragic' story of Pyramus & Thisbe was simply a hoot with some beautifully timed comic business paying-off well. Could have been a mistake to give Mike Ellis a dog puppet but he restrained himself rather well.!!??  Congrats to all the Mechanicals but especially Mark Prescott as Bottom, relishing all the comic moments so well, & Simon Garland desperately trying to flog his stuff which had clearly fallen off the back of some lorry & who was hilarious in drag. He should do it more often!!  Enjoyed the young lovers' scenes, too. The teddy bears were a lovely touch. But most enjoyed meeting some old & valued friends afterwards to recall good times past. I've missed it all. Perhaps a return may be on the cards for 2021!!   PS. Thanks to Caroline & James Kay for running me back to Birkenhead afterwards. Much appreciated. Had forgotten how chilly it gets at Hillbark ❄ but it was worth it for such a great evening. Thanks, guys, good luck for the rest of the week. We must now keep in touch.❤  PPS. Well done for coping serenely with screeching birds, barking dogs, annoyingly noisy audience members, including the barmpots trying to invade the arena at the end (sensitively handled by the backstage team, BTW). The perils of live open-air Shakespeare. Nothing like it.   TD

Fabulous open air production of A Midsummer Night's Dream by @HillbarkPlayers which our #NCOP students are loving! So funny! #WeAreNCOP #LiverpoolSummerSchool  @AimHigherLSouth

A superb night @HillbarkPlayers production of #AMidsummerNightsDream - brilliant and hilarious in equal measure🥂get your tickets now (there are still some available this week!!) #Shakespeare #hillbark @SteveOnHilbre

The Committee  
President Mike Ellis
Chairman Nigel Cooper
Secretary Caroline Kay
Treasurer Gareth Cooper
Business Manager Ben Howarth
Press and publicity Nick Sample
Committee members