Big weekend for Shakespeare festival

Shakespeare in the Park Charitable Trust chair Hannah Kennedy (left), trustee Nick Round-Turner and Carla Meehan, of Speedy Signs Invercargill, look at some costume choices ahead of this weekend's three-day festival at Queens Park.

TITANIA, the Queen of the Fairies from Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream, will be ready to receive her visitors at Queens Park rhododendron dell on Sunday, 2pm-5pm.

Shakespeare in the Park Charitable Trust trustee Angela Newell said as part of this year’s Shakespeare in the Park festival, the entrancing Titania would welcome children and their families to the dell where there would be a face painter for the children.

“Families can come along, join in the fun and take photos of their children with their faces painted.”

Due to the Covid-19 situation, there would be no live performances at this year’s festival, she said.

Instead, the trust would be “bringing the world to Queens Park via the digital world”, by hosting four productions of A Midsummer’s Night Dream, a comedy, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, The Tragedy of King Richard II and Twelfth Night, a romantic comedy, performed by members of the UK’s NT (National Theatre) Live, which would be “replayed” on a large screen near the Queens Park band rotunda.

“NT Live is one of the best companies in the world,” Newell said.

Adding to the atmosphere, ushers would be dressed in Shakespearean costumes.

There would be three days of screenings, showing four productions at six times from Friday to Sunday (Valentine’s Day), with Twelfth Nightand A Midsummer’s Night Dream repeated.

The Shakespeare On Screen productions were free, and patrons were encouraged to bring along a chair or blanket, a picnic or a takeaway meal, and enjoy some Shakespearean entertainment in the park.

Because some of the screenings could go from three to three-and-a-half hours, patrons might choose to come and go, she said.

“It’s free… we want to make it really accessible for people.”

  • For more information and classification details, go to