A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Sneak peek at A Midsummer Night’s Dream by LEF

After finally handing in the first chapter of my BA thesis this week, and realising that this huge mountain that seemed insurmountable for so long might just have turned into achievable steps, I was dragged out of the library and into an afternoon of much-needed comedic relief by my friend Iris. Having seen previous performances by the Leiden English Freshers, I was eager to jump at the opportunity to catch an early preview of their upcoming take on Shakespeare’s classic Midsummer Night’s Dream.


After putting on a Chicago/Rocky Horror mash-up with an all-female cast (including TheLeidener’s own Anna!), they have once again put a spin on their performance. As Alexandra, one of the directors tells me “Shakespeare’s been done so many times, especially this one. We already did a classical version of a Shakespeare play last term, so it was important to us to really bring something new to the table.” So what is this new something? Well, if the poster didn’t give it away, LEF took the original play and script, and changed the setting to be everyday office life. The setting fit miraculously well with the original text, with lines like “Fairies get thee to thy offices!”.

Out of control office

Out of control office. (Photo by Myrthe Brouwer)

So lovers of fairies, do not despair. They too are present, amongst others as the flower edition of the crazy cat lady – meet crazy flower lady. The donkey-head is also included, and combined with a sheer endless number of ass-puns by an oblivious character, I laughed my ass off. The shakespearian confusion and love-quadrangle combined with the comedic talent and timing of the entire cast makes for a series of hilarious moments, and there is no dull moment to be found. As the directors emphasized, in a stern voice, before the dress rehearsal, “Please have fun!”. And that’s exactly what every single cast-member does. I’m just slightly disappointed the impromptu Disney-medley during the break won’t be included…

Pre-rehearsal focusing. "Have fun! Please!" (Photo by Myrthe Bee)

Pre-rehearsal focusing. “Have fun! Please!” (Photo by Myrthe Brouwer)

If you would like to catch a showing of the play, get thy ass to the Ins Blau theatre at the Haagweg, where I’ll also be performing in a month and a half (update on that will follow 🙂 ).  Performances are tonight and tomorrow at 20:45. To make sure you get a ticket, send an e-mail to! See you there?

"Oh Hermia.."  "Oh Lysander.."

“Oh Hermia..” “Oh Lysander..” (Photo by Myrthe Brouwer)

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