Essex University's Theatre Arts Society is starting the summer a little earlier with their production of a Shakespeare classic.

That's A Midsummer Night's Dream, which follows Hermia, a young woman who flees Ancient Athens with her lover Lysander only to be followed by her suitor Demetrius and her best friend Helena.

All four encounter an enchanted forest where they spark the interest of fairies who are fascinated with human affairs.

From dispensing love potions to casting enchanted spells this is one of Shakespeare’s most renowned comedies although its co-directors Danie McIntyre and Hannah Young, both second year drama students at the university, are excited about their take on the play.

Hannah says: "We wanted to make it really funny. Obviously it's a comedy already but we wanted to take it up a notch so we've allowed the actors to make-up ad libs in addition to the normal text, and it has made a huge difference."

Danie adds: "It's been hilarious in the rehearsal room and our cast have really taken to this approach.

"We've been really lucky with our actors. Some are doing theatre and drama but we've also had a history student and someone doing psychology, right across the year groups from first years to post grads."

Running next week on Thursday and Friday, March 21 to 22, this is the first time the pair have directed a show at the Lakeside.

Hannah says: "We applied to do the panto last year but didn't get it and while we've both performed in Main House productions in the theatre before, it's great to be directing this together. It's been a lot of fun putting opur own stamp on the show and we hope audiences are going to like what we've done."

Shakespeare’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream takes place at 7.30pm with tickets priced £15, £10 for concessions and £6 for university students, available on-line at