Ayesha to play queen of fairies at the Grand

Ayesha Dharker to play Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool
Ayesha Dharker to play Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool
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The professional cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Royal Shakespeare Company at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre has been announced.

The company comes to the resort in April as part of its A Play For The Nation project next year, marking 400 years since Shakespeare’s death.

RSC actors will join an amateur team from Poulton Drama as the Mechanicals in the popular tale, as well as schoolchildren playing fairies.

Playing opposite Poulton’s Bottom the weaver Anthony Henry, Ayesha Dharker will take on the celebrated role of Titania, Queen of the Fairies, following her role as Emilia in the RSC’s critically-acclaimed production of Othello.

Ayesha said: “I am delighted to be playing Titania. I have fallen in love with the RSC because every project I have done with them involves strong women and magical stories with ancient roots - from Scheherazade to Titania. 

“I am looking forward to working with talented actors from all over the country and cannot wait to work with Erica Whyman.” The Poulton players have already taken part in workshops and tasks for the RSC, including a three-hour intensive vocal coaching session with the RSC’s senior voice and text practitioner, Michael Corbidge putting them through their paces.

The local cast of the Mechanicals - the troupe of entertainers putting on a play within the play, including the iconic role of Bottom - also features Cathy Lloyd, Ian Rowe, Anthony Henry, Roger Lloyd Jones, Huw Rose, Garry Houghton, and Sarah Jane Stone,

Erica Whyman, RSC deputy artistic director, and director of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play For The Nation, said: “I am thrilled by the professional acting company and the creative team we have brought together.

“They are hugely talented and offer me a wonderfully wide range of expertise so I’m looking forward very much to getting into rehearsals.

“They also all have big hearts and will rise to the unique challenge of this project.”

The production comes to the Grand from Tuesday to Saturday, April 5 to 9. Call (01253) 290190 to book.