With Midsummer’s eve descending, four young lovers and a troupe of am-dram artisans venture into the woods, but little do they know of the amorous shenanigans about to ensue – or is it what they always dreamed of?

Unbridled desire meets magic as acclaimed historical performance ensemble Figure return to Opera Holland Park with Shakespeare’s comic exploration of the unconscious, accompanied by a live orchestra, children’s chorus (from Theatre Peckham), and soprano soloists Rowan Pierce and new OAE Rising Star, Madison Nonoa.

Figure is also joined by a fantastic cast including RSC Associate and Harry Potter actor Ray Fearon as Oberon, comedian and star of Netflix series Shadow and Bone Anna Leong Brophy as Titania, and T. S. Eliot Prize-winning author and performer Joelle Taylor as Puck.

Comedy and movement specialist Sam Rayner (whose work includes collaborations with Jack Whitehall and Leo Reich, and has been listed in The Guardian’s Readers’ Favourite Shows of 2022 and The New York Times’ Critics’ Picks of 2023) returns to collaborate with Figure after last year’s “fantastically detailed” (The Guardian) staging of Serse, the first ever Handel opera at Opera Holland Park. 

Figure’s musicians will play on historical instruments, modelled on those from Mendelssohn’s time, including the rarely-heard ophicleide, an ancestor of the tuba. In sympathy with this mid-19th-century sound-world, Figure’s highly-physical production is visually inspired by the world of Mendelssohn’s literary contemporaries, the Brothers Grimm, whose fairy tales became as widespread and popular as the composer’s melodies.

Beyond the famous Overture and ‘Wedding March’, Mendelssohn’s beguiling score also includes filmic passages which sensitively underscore the dialogue and gripping entr’actes connecting Shakespeare’s scenes, as well as numbers for soprano soloists and upper-voice chorus.

£15 Monday Rush tickets can be purchased here