A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Rose has been a great success thanks in no small part to performances of theactors playing the hapless Rude Mechanicals. Leon Williams, who gives a hilarious performances as Flute, tells us how the play went from rehersal to opening night with his exclusive production diary.

January 10 - first day of rehearsals

Today we all met at Petyt Hall in Chelsea for the first day of rehearsals. We began with a cast and crew meet and greet, which is always a little nerve-wracking. There are so many new people and names to remember; not only the actors but also the designers and production team. Everyone was very friendly and excited to be part of what we hope will be a great theatrical event. In the afternoon we read the play and I'm really looking forward to seeing it come to life over the course of rehearsals. I play Flute - a bellows-mender who, with Bottom and the rest of the mechanicals put together a play for Theseus and Hippolyta. I also play a Fairy.

Week 2

We ran the plan from start to finish today. Until now I had only seen the scenes I'm involved with but it's interesting to finally see the other scenes - the lovers’ scenes and the court scenes. When you put it together you start to get an idea of what works and more importantly, what doesn't. The play is fast coming together and from an actors point of view it is incredible to be working with the director Peter Hall. It's also inspiring to watch Judi Dench rehearse and see her character Titania come to life.

Week 4

This is the final week of rehearsals. I'm feeling a little apprehensive about the play within the play. I don't know if it's funny or not. Peter gave us a note saying: "Don't try to be funny. Play the scene as truthfully as possible." The humour then comes out in us really trying to do our best! I finally got to try one of my costumes on today - a grass green dress and a long blonde wig with pigtails - it's brilliant!

We are now rehearsing at the Rose. It has such a unique auditorium and a really friendly atmosphere. There is always something going on in the cafe - free events for kids, jazz sessions and film clubs - it's all happening!

February 9 - opening night

It's been a long week - we've been in most days from 9.30am - 10pm at night for technical rehearsals. Tonight was the opening night and it was just incredible. We played to a full house and the audiences response was phenomenal. We still have a few things to work on though and we will continue to rehearse during previews, tweaking and perfecting. I'm really looking forward to a successful run.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Rose Theatre, until March 20. The run is sold out but if you are a KT postcode holder, up to 20 day seats are released from 10am every morning for that day’s performance only. These are available in person and proof of address is required. Returns may be available on the evening of the performance in person at the Rose box office. For more information, visit rosetheatrekingston.org