26th October 2011
A local drama group is staging an unusual play which combines Shakespeare with musical theatre and takes its inspiration from the Ironbridge Gorge’s industrial heritage. Furnaceman’s Dream is being presented by the Telford and District Light Operatic Players (Tadlop) in the Engine Shop at Enginuity, Coalbrookdale on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th November, near the site of the Old Furnace used by Abraham Darby.
Leaning heavily on the dialogue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Tempest, the new play also brings in other ‘supernatural’ characters such as the Macbeth witches. The plot flows around a group of industrial workers, alias Bottom, Quince, Snout & Co, from the era when Abraham Darby was developing his Coalbrookdale blast furnace. In his ‘dream’, the Furnaceman relives the great storm of 1801, while his fantasy sees the interference of the supernatural - Puck, Ariel, Titania, Oberon & Co - in the lives and loves of ordinary working men.
The action will be reflected and enhanced with songs from London West End productions such as Wicked and The Lord of the Rings the Musical performed by a classical Greek chorus style company, plus multi-media projection material to interpret the local industrial heritage. Three of the Tadlop actors recently visited the working iron foundry at Blists Hill Victorian Town to gain first hand experience of casting molten metal for their roles in the production.
The play is supported by the Royal Shakespeare Company through its 50th anniversary Open Stages project, which showcases amateur theatre groups putting on imaginative Shakespeare themed productions. A selection will perform at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the World Shakespeare Festival. 2011 also marks 40 years since Tadlop was formed and the 25th anniversary of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site.
The two hour long performance begins at 7.30pm with doors opening at 6.45pm; for tickets priced at £12 each call the box office on 01952 613 055 (there are no reserved seats). For further information visit www.tadlop.com or for details about Enginuity and the Ironbridge Gorge contact the Ironbridge Tourist Information Centre on Tel: 01952 433 424, www.ironbridge.org.uk.