elves & fairies: Titania


Titania is the queen of the fairies in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Traditionally, the fairy queen has no name but Shakespeare named her after the appellation given to the daughters of Titans in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

The movies

Shakespeare Retold: The BBC reworked a number of Shakespeare’s plays with mixed results but Sharon Small made an admiral transition from her day job of playing a working-class police detective in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries to become the queen of the fairies. Alison Elliott was the hair & makeup designer.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: this mostly forgettable though pretty version had Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania – not to mention Anna Friel and Calista Flockhart in a mudbath. Ronnie Spector was Michelle Pfeiffer’s makeup artist; Jene Fielder did her body makeup; David White was chief prosthetic makeup artist.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: this 1996 version with Lindsay Duncan as Titania was based on a Royal Shakespeare Company stage production. Penny Smith was chief makeup artist.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: with Helen Mirren – coming soon.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: with Judi Dench – yes she was young once – if anyone has images of her in green bodypaint from the 1968 Peter Hall version please email themakeupgallery.