I wonder what the fruit bat thinks as it lands at the top of the gum at ten past eight, the last light falling out of the sky in the Wollongong botanic garden.
The kookaburras evidently think it's pretty funny to see Bottom braying - his glowing head lit up in red - as he's transformed into a donkey with the fairies swirling around him while Titania declares her love.
Peels of cackling laughter ring out through the tree canopies as the audience laughs and claps when the first half of a Midsummer Night's Dream comes to a close.
And therein lies the genius of staging Shakespeare's mistaken-love comedy in this beautiful natural setting.
Setting up a picnic rug to watch the sunset - cactus garden in the foreground and Mount Keira behind - on a humid night in November, when all the flowering trees show off, would be treat enough.
But watching lovers spat and fairies weave chaos in front of that scene is magic.
Clever lighting highlights the garden's sculptural beauty and a homegrown soundtrack melds with the sound of the birds to cast Shakespeare's enchanted wood in a new light.
This version of the play, produced by Wollongong's Merrigong theatre, is a modern, and very Illawarra production.
Hermia is a "Thirroulean" maiden dressed in carefully curated northern suburbs beige attire (which gets stripped away as she ventures into the forest); we're in the kingdom of Wollongong, not Athens; and some of the insults hurled include "bush pig" and "goonbag".
The mechanicals are bureaucratically named Wollongong council workers in fluoro yellow shirts - Bottom is a hashtag obsessed marketing staffer who calls himself the "senior digital campaigner", Quince is chief compliance officer and chairman of work health an safety, and Snug is the school holiday liaison officer.
Staged on the botanic garden's Turpentine Lawn the 7pm performance begins as the sun turns to bright orange over the mountain.
Gates open at 6pm to give you time to stroll in and find a good seat and get set up with food and drink in the sunshine - and its recommended you bring along a picnic mat, blanket and some low beach chairs to stay comfortable for the three hour play.
As we arrived, the "garden staff" were boisterously leaf blowing and hosing, telling patrons to keep off the path, and aggressively taking selfies and making Instagram live posts - which really do appear on the Merrigong account.
Perhaps the most genius local addition to the play is musician Kay Proudlove as Philostrate, who is stationed on stage for the whole performance, and plays evocative guitar and several original folky songs - sung in surround harmony by cast members - throughout the show.
She also adds some wry commentary on the outdated, sexist aspects of Shakespeare's words - touching on issues like consent, dating culture and men trying to control women.
"Dad wants her married or dead, he's a bit sick in the head," she sings, later adding - "This is why they tell you not to wander from the track, because if you do you might fall in love with a donkey.
Or - "She was drugged without her consent, she was only trying to get some rest."
Serious issues aside, the production is raucous, risque and fun - and frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious with the costumes, staging and gentle script tweaks giving it new relevance.
The botanic gardens is one of the most enchanting places in Wollongong at any given time - and being there after dark feels especially mysterious and other-worldly. So as Puck delivers the famous last lines there is a jolt of reality - just as Shakespeare intended.
"If we shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended," trained Shakespearean actor Danielle King, who adapted this play for the unique setting with director Leland Kean, says.
"That you have but slumber'd here while these visions did appear and this weak and idle theme, no more yielding but a dream."
The show is on Thursday through Sunday for the next three weekends and is a not-to-be missed, quintessentially Wollongong affair - which hopefully inspires more performances in the magic of the gardens.
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