“He’s got his hands so tight around my heart that it can’t beat”

The RSC Open Stages is a new project that aims to embrace, develop and celebrate amateur theatre, re-forging the bond with the world of professional theatre.

Over 2011/2012 the RSC has invited amateur theatre companies from across the UK to produce their own RSC branded Shakespeare themed production.

The People’s Theatre is delighted to be part of the project with a brand new play inspired by one of Shakespeare’s most popular and enduring comedies.

QUICK BRIGHT THINGS imagines the life of Helena before, during and after A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In bite-size scenes we see her teenage friendship (and rivalry) with Hermia and enjoy a whistle-stop visit to her adventures in Shakespeare’s play. Finally, fast-forwarding to life after the magical goings-on in the Athenian woods, it asks what kind of life can she lead with a man bewitched to love her?

For updates from rehearsals – including photos, short script extracts & blogs by the cast & crew – click [here]

Just as the play aims to offer a glimpse around and beyond Shakespeare’s text, the performance itself will give audiences a rare opportunity to see more than just the auditorium. In a first for the People’s Theatre, this is a promenade production – the audience will tour the building, seeing the action unfold in various locations that would usually be off limits.


  • In a tour de force of economy in writing and promenade performance Alison has succeeded magnificently on both counts in this wonderful show … Catch this delight while you can” – euVue
  • “I loved the whole experience and recommend it unreservedly” – Break A Leg
  • “The writing was lyrical and poetic … This is an interesting production at the People’s, and one that is worth seeing”Remote Goat

First produced at The People’s Theatre, April 2012

The cast was as follows:

Part One

HELENA: Grace Dickson
LAD: Matthew Aldridge
HERMIA: Hannah Harrison

Part Two

HELENA: Jen Carss
HERMIA: Kelly Godfrey
LYSANDER: Patrick Robertson

Part Three

HELENA: Penny Lamport / Moira Valentine

Directed by Tony Childs

Part Three of the play (Helena’s monologue) was subsequently performed by Moira Valentine at The Sage Gateshead in June 2012.





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