Bottom’s up to no good, as CODA takes the Bard outdoors

Apparently, it all began when someone in CODA, the Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association, misheard one of their colleagues say, “Michael Hall has got a lovely bottom.”

Not that sort of Bottom: Michael Hall with Sarah Gordon, who plays Titania in the CODA production of A Midsummer Nights Dream

Not that sort of Bottom: Michael Hall with Sarah Gordon, who plays Titania in the CODA production of A Midsummer Nights Dream

Now, a few months later, Hall is to play a lovely Bottom in CODA’s open-air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which will be the first theatrical production to be stage in the re-opened Wandle Park.

Wandle Park is among the oldest public open spaces in Croydon. Originally opening in 1890, the park underwent extensive restoration from 2010 with a £1.9 million grant from The National Lottery which saw the uncovering of the course of the River Wandle, to re-open in 2012 with a range of new facilities.

But it is to be one of the park’s older and more traditional features, the band stand, which is to be the stage for this production of the Shakespearean comedy from Wednesday, July 30, to Saturday, August 2. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, and has been a firm audience favourite for more than 400 years, with its plot of enchanted woods, fairies and incompetent workmen… So an obvious choice to be performed in Croydon.

Suitable for all ages, this lively production is the ideal treat for a summer’s evening – with seating provided. The production is directed by Ellie Dawes and assisted by Paul Grace, who between them have directed critically acclaimed productions of The Graduate, Macbeth, Rent, Confusions, Earthquakes in London and Alice in Wonderland in the area.

Peter Davis, the chairman of CODA, said, “We’re very excited to be presenting such a vibrant production in this fantastic setting, and we’re proud to be contributing to promoting the arts in Croydon.”

And having landed the role of Bottom, Hall said “I’m really excited, and rather privileged, to be in the first cast performing in this beautiful urban oasis.”

CODA was founded in 1943, and is Croydon’s leading community theatre company, performing both musicals and plays. In the last few years, CODA have performed acclaimed productions of Noises Off, The Graduate, Abigail’s Party, Fame the Musical, A Murder Is Announced, West Side Story and The Railway Children, alongside concerts and Old Time Music Halls.

  • There will be four evening performances (at 7.45pm) of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, plus a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday August 2. All tickets are £10, and may be booked by calling the CODA box office on 07858 879019, or online (with a 50p booking fee) at


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1 Response to Bottom’s up to no good, as CODA takes the Bard outdoors

  1. I think that credit for the regeneration of Wandle Park should be given, too, to the £1,000,000 Section 106 contribution from Barratt’s ‘New South Quarter’ Development. This was one of the reasons why as a London Assembly Member I supported the Barratt’s development.

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