SHAKESPEARE’S best-loved comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is being performed to Bolton.

The “magical mystery tour” of lovers, workers, aristocracy, and fairies, is one of the bard’s finest creations, and is given a new twist by director David Thacker.

The story, for those who don’t know, begins with Theseus, who has conquered Hippolyta and plans a state wedding.

In a magical wood outside Athens, inhabited by wild and malevolent spirits, local workmen rehearse a play for the wedding celebrations.

Meanwhile two pairs of lovers take flight to the wood, to escape the tyranny of Theseus’ regime.

An evening of utter confusion follows. Under the influence of a love potion, the lovers fall in and out of love with each other, and Titania the fairy queen falls in love with Bottom the weaver, one of Shakespeare’s greatest comic characters, who has been transformed into a passionate donkey.

David Thacker is renowned for making Shakespeare accessible to new and existing audiences. He is the winner of two Olivier awards for his work on Shakespeare.

This witty and imaginative production is set in Athens in 1968.

* A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bolton Octagon, tonight, until Saturday, March 6.