Restored Wandle Park to host open-air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Croydon Opera and Dramatic Association, Wednesday 30th July – Saturday 2nd August


By - Wednesday 25th June, 2014

For the first time since its multi-million pound restoration, which included the re-surfacing of the River Wandle, Wandle Park is to become the setting for an outdoor theatrical production this July. The Croydon Opera and Dramatic Association’s production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take place in the new bandstand and be directed by Ellie Dawes. The production will also star Michael Hall in the comedic role of Bottom. 

Time: 7:45 pm, Wednesday 30th July – Saturday 2nd August, with a Saturday matinee performance at 2:30pm.

Location: The bandstand, Wandle Park, Croydon.


Sarah H Gordon as Titania and Michael Hall as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Photo by Leah Graham, used with permission.

Release begins : A group of actors are putting on the first theatrical production in a South London park this summer, following completion of a multi-million pound restoration.

CODA is staging a brand new production of Shakespeare’s magical comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the round at the bandstand in Croydon’s Wandle Park, from 30 July to 2 August.

Wandle Park is amongst the oldest public open spaces in Croydon. Originally opening in 1890, the park was re-opened in November 2012 following a £1.9m lottery grant, which enabled extensive restoration work to uncover the course of the river Wandle, and provide new facilities.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, and has been a firm audience favourite for more than 400 years. One enchanted night, four young lovers flee Athens – but fall under the spell of the fairies who live in the woods outside the city, as a group of incompetent workmen rehearse their play to celebrate the impending wedding of the Duke. When the fairies’ charms go wrong, and the wrong couples fall in love, confusion and misunderstanding reign.

Suitable for all ages, this lively production is the ideal treat for a summer’s evening – with seating provided. The production is directed by Ellie Dawes and assisted by Paul Grace, who between them have directed critically acclaimed productions of The Graduate, Macbeth, Rent, Confusions, Earthquakes in London and Alice in Wonderland in the area.

Peter Davis, Chairman of CODA, said “We’re very excited to be presenting such a vibrant production in this fantastic setting, and we’re proud to be contributing to promoting the arts in Croydon.”

Director Ellie Dawes added “I love directing a Shakespeare that’s accessible for a wide range of audiences. A funny outdoor production will really fit the bill for families in Croydon this summer.”

Actor Michael Hall said “I’m really excited, and rather privileged, to be in the first cast performing in this beautiful urban oasis. I’m looking forward to wowing the people of Croydon with my Bottom.”

CODA (the Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association) was founded in 1943, and is Croydon’s leading community theatre company, performing both musicals and plays. In the last few years, CODA have performed acclaimed productions of Noises Off, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Graduate, Abigail’s Party, Fame the Musical, A Murder Is Announced, West Side Story and The Railway Children, alongside concerts and Old Time Music Halls.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs from Wednesday 30 July to Saturday 2 August at the bandstand at Wandle Park, Croydon, with evening performances at 7:45pm and a matinee on Saturday 2 August at 2:30pm. All tickets are £10, and may be booked by calling the CODA box office on 07858 879019, or online (with a 50p booking fee) at www.codashows.co.uk.

Release ends.

Release sender: The Croydon Opera and Dramatic Association.

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  • Anne Giles

    Excellent. We will not be going though, as my husband Steve is not exactly a Shakespeare fan and I am put off by anything that has the word “opera” in it.

  • trypewriter

    More of this please!