The court at Athens is preparing for the wedding of Duke Theseus to Hippolyta. Demetrius and Lysander are in love with Hermia. Her father Egeus has chosen Demetrius to marry his daughter, but Hermia is in love with Lysander. Hermia and Lysander swear eternal love to one another and are prepared to flee from the reach of the law. Helen, who is in love with Demetrius, follows the action jealously.
A group of craftsmen is rehearsing a play for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta as the young lovers arrive. Puck, a fairy, and Titania, the Queen of the Fairies, also arrive, as Oberon, King of the Fairies demands that Titania return the Indian girl that she has kidnapped for her servant. Oberon plots with Puck to gain the girl for himself. With the nectar from a magic herb he is given by Puck, Oberon intends to make Titania give up the girl and to make Demetrius fall in love with Helen. Puck drips the nectar into Lysander’s eyes by mistake, believing him to be Demetrius. Lysander falls in love with Helen. Puck enchants Bottom, one of the craftsmen, into a donkey, and Titania, also under the influence of the magic nectar, falls in love with him.
Then Oberon drips nectar into Demetrius’s eyes. The result is that both Demetrius and Lysander chase after Helen, who believes that they are mocking her. Once the young men are exhausted, Puck again drips nectar into Lysander’s eyes to correct his mistake.
Titania is in love with the donkey, and they go to sleep together. Oberon wakes up Titania with a kiss, and the two are reconciled. The eloping couple is discovered in the forest. Because Demetrius now loves Helen, there is no obstacle to Hermia marrying Lysander. Bottom has regained his human form and finally returns to the scene when a triple wedding is about to commence.
A full synopsis and background information are available in the programme booklet.