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“A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM”
I loved this production, which celebrated TADS 50th season and the RSC’s 50th birthday.
I’m not a Shakespeare buff, but everything about this production was right, from the very innovative scenery and lighting to the casting and playing of the piece.
From the moment we entered the theatre we were part of the production, as the walls (which are dark blue) had been painted with trails of leaves in a charming lime green, one wall also had trees and woodland painted on, and the rest of the set was free standing trees with lights concealed in them with logs for seats.
The production was performed in the round, which worked particularly well and drew the audience into the performance, which made it more interesting and understandable.
Some of the pace was lost at times by the use of the prompt, but once the cast gained momentum and could feel the audience were with them, the pace picked up.
Sue Sachon has a great interest in and fantastic understanding of Shakespeare, which she had communicated to her cast, and this was the most interesting and humorous Dream I have ever seen.
Dave Corbett has come on in leaps and bounds from when I first saw him – he played Theseus and also Oberon, both as different character types, but both with good understanding and expression. He has a swagger about him which suited the parts well.
Becca Harris played Hippolyta with authority, and also doubled as Peaseblossom.
David Sachon gave a very nice Egeous, with military bearing and showing his confusion at his daughter’s choice of beau!
Steve Loczy was an excellent Lysander – good contrasts between the normal character and the one under the influence of Oberon’s drugs, and was matched by Cameron Hay as Demetrius his counterpart, this young man has progressed into a debonair actor of some presence.
Kristin Womersley and Ally Stafa played Helena and Hermia respectively – both gave good performances. Lea Pryer was a charming Titania, good contrasts in her performance which meant that although she was a fairy she had substance. Charlotte Ridley as Moth was a good foil to Becca, Sophie Venn as Mustardseed and Harry Rodgers as Cobweb, a nice fairy quartet.
Michael Collins excelled as Puck, he was mischievous and devious and very compelling
The Rude Mechanicals – Janet Bray as Quince, Judy Palmer as Snout, Mark Normoyle as Snug, Steven Pryer as Bottom and Harry Rodgers as Flute, matched each other well, and gave us very varied characters, playing out the rather simple minds well, but I thought Bottom was very good, loved the ass’s head, and Flute was excellent – what I love about Harry is that despite his age, he throws himself into every character, and gives us humour and understanding well above his years.
An excellent production on all levels.
TADS Theatre Group
“A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM”
review date 11th May 2012
Director: Sue Sachon