Why Star Wars queen thinks South Shields is '˜heavenly'
A Star Wars queen says she's looking forward to staying in 'heavenly' South Shields when she takes on another royal role.
Ayesha Dharker, best known for portraying Queen Jamillia in Star Wars: Episodes II and III, will be staying in the town while starring in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Newcastle’s Northern Stage.
The Indian actress will be playing Titania, the Queen of the Fairies, in the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) production.
While she may not hail from South Tyneside, her husband Robert Taylor was born in South Shields and the actress has grown to love the area.
Ayesha said: “I am really looking forward to our visit to Northern Stage. My husband grew up in South Shields and I have lots of friends there.
“In fact, I’ll be staying in the town during the show’s run in Newcastle. My three-year-old loves it there, and knows it well.
“There’s so much I love about the area, The Grotto, with its pirates, the beautiful Marine Park, with the toy train – we have to do that at least three times a day – and a Minchella’s ice cream on the beach. It is heavenly, especially for families with children.”
The show is a Play for the Nation production, which features a professional cast of 18, two North East amateur companies and 60 schoolchildren from Newcastle.
It runs at the venue from Wednesday, March 16 to Saturday, March 26.
Ayesha, who has also appeared in Doctor Who, Coronation Street and Doctors, said: “This is a play I knew pretty well and remembered, and the main reason for doing it was just the opportunity to be surrounded by those words every night.
“Titania is a lot of fun to play because, though she is a powerful creature, she is forced to reckon with things that she cannot control. She is seeing all her world fall apart because of her fight with Oberon, and is unable to stop it without his help.
“When she is enchanted by Oberon and falls in love with Bottom, she loves him in a way that she could never love anyone in a normal state. There is a huge freedom in that, and I think it changes her relationship with Oberon when she emerges from her dream, and he, in turn, is changed by what he has seen.”
The comedy, by William Shakespeare, follows a group of four young Athenian lovers, a group of amateur actors, and the fairies who inhabit the forest in which they have stumbled into. Tickets cost from £18. To book, go to www.northernstage.co.uk or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.