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"Shakespeare’s irreverent play takes on new life and becomes something vibrant and awesome. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has ever had trouble reading and understanding Shakespeare. The words are all there, the intent is all there, but the pictures help breathe new life into the story and teenagers, especially, will appreciate the graphic novel format. I highly recommend to Shakespeare fans, teenagers who HAVE TO READ IT, and anyone who enjoys graphic novels/manga."
- (May 2009) Read Article


"This interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a very satisfying one. The overall effect is one of ethereal elegance, with a delicacy that emphasizes the gossamer-lightness of fairies and plot. This is also apparent in the pages that use colour.

The style here has a lovely, clear and delicate use of line, with a distinct Art Nouveau feel, as well as manga influences. The way that [the characters] are drawn is often very touching, giving the reader a sense of their youth, vulnerability and awkwardness. Their emotions, shown in very varied facial expressions, are also well realized throughout and there is a great sense of movement in the images.

The humour of the play is clear, even given the elegance of the illustration. ...there is a good match between Shakespeare and manga here, offering, again, a huge amount of additional pleasure for the manga reader.

This is a lovely object, as well as a touching and effective interpretation, which has a very distinctive visual voice."
- Dr Mel Gibson, Children's Literature specialist, (July 2008)

“THE COURSE OF TRUE LOVE NEVER DID RUN SMOOTH.” This romantic comedy is set in an enchanted moonlit forest inhabited by meddlesome fairies, four young Athenian lovers and a troupe of amateur actors.

Shakespeare’s enduring characters are set adrift in present-day Athens – but a present with a massive difference – an alternative history. Rigid class systems and ‘god given’ monarchies of the past have not been lost. Modern technologies meet ancient tradition; and the citizens of Athens are frustrated by continuing restrictions and hierarchies. Only the forest, home to the fairies and fey spirits, can offer the illicit lovers what they seek.


Kate Brown is an independent illustrator, taking influence from comics around the world, including Japan's strong manga aesthetic. She graduated with a distinction from England's only Sequential Illustration course, specialising in Graphic Novels. Kate has worked on many stories, and been published multiple times, including stories in the Best New Manga series – a publication of cutting edge international manga – and has completed work for The Girly Comic. As well as her illustration, Kate is also a writer with several major projects in development, currently collaborating with Paul Duffield (the artist for The Tempest). Kate closely follows the development of manga, and other comics, from around the world.

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Series title:
Manga Shakespeare
Book title:
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Original author:
William Shakespeare
Adapted by:
Richard Appignanesi
Illustrated by:
Kate Brown

UK Publication date:
February 2008
148 x 210mm
Black & white,
9-page colour section
Manga / Graphic Novels
/ Shakespeare / Children