Hypable has the first look at the cast of Shakespearean web series Bright Summer Night, from the creators of Nothing Much To Do and Lovely Little Losers.
The series, based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, takes creative team The Candle Wasters away from the standard vlog-format for the first time. When speaking with The Candle Wasters last year, they explained of the new format, “We are looking forward to seeing what kind of story we tell with a new set of constraints.”
Millennials arrived at the party too late — our world is on the brink of environmental catastrophe, and we continue to deny it. Bright Summer Night brings together a motley group of teenagers at a house party in the bewildering heat of New Zealand summer. Break-ups, new love, drugs, and amateur theatre all make this one chaotic event as the characters attempt to forget their issues, whether personal or global.
The storyline is inspired by William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but the modern setting re-contextualises the play’s themes of escapism, environmentalism, sexuality, and consent. Just like the world they live in, we see some of the characters are determined to keep dreaming; putting off tomorrow to indulge in the night.
Bright Summer Night will star Meesha Rikk, Kalisha Wasasala (Lovely Little Losers), Maddie Adams, and Gala Baumfield. Although The Candle Wasters, have not yet released the character names for these actors, they are calling Rikk the show’s lead, with Wasasala, Adams and Baumfield as main characters. The remainder of the cast will be announced on The Candle Wasters’ social media in the coming days.
In encouraging news for web series fans, last year the creative team told us of their intention to cast more women in their series than are in Shakespeare’s original text, confirming that they would be gender-flipping the character of Demetrius to female.
The cast is also notably diverse along a variety of spectrums, including gender identity (Rikk identifies as bigender: non-binary and trans-male) and ethnicity (Rikk is Maori/New Zealander, Wasasala is Fijian/Australian/New Zealander, Adams is New Zealand European, and Baumfield is Maori/Chinese/Pakeha).
Meesha Rikk (Lead)
Kalisha Wasasala (Main Character)
Maddie Adams (Main Character)
Gala Baumfield (Main Character)
Bright Summer Night was funded through an NZ on Air grant and a Kickstarter campaign. The series sees the return of creative team The Candle Wasters, comprised of Claris Jacobs, Elsie Bollinger, Minnie Grace, and Sally Bollinger. Joining them on this series are writer Robbie Nicol (who fans may recognize from Lovely Little Losers) and producer Bevin Linkhorn.
Bright Summer Night will premiere on July 8, 2016.