Monday, 8 March 2010

Below is a review of Midsummer Night's Dream as written by Lindsay Wilkes. Lindsay is one of our youth theatre participants (see her in the promo shot for Well Swung above) and is currently working towards her Silver Arts Award. As part of the arts award she needs to review a show and ensure it is ‘shared with an audience’. So I thought as the readers of my blog were a worthy and kind audience, I would share it with you as it provides a different perspective on how Shakespeare is viewed by one of our young people.

Midsummer Night’s Dream, is one of Shakespeare’s comedies. This production at The Octagon Theatre is directed by David Thacker.

The two main themes of theshow that stood out to me are love and drugs. The four lovers act as if they have been drugged and when lovers get a love juice put into their eyes, the cast act as if they are tripping. A big part of this production feeling uplifting rather than boring was the technical aspects such as lighting, set, costumes etc.

The set design was really cool and funky. It wasn’t what I expected at all, it is very creative. When asked to describe it to someone, my answer was “full of big balls”! The lighting is always changing which makes the moment when Puck delivers his final monologue stand out. The lighting here stays the same, which helps you to focus in on it. One of the good things about the lighting is that it’s illuminous and the glow in the dark lights are mint -you end up looking around the audience to see who’s clothes are lighting up the most.

For me Titania's costume is to die for. I didn’t think that the costume would be 1960’s as I thought the play was a lot older! Whoever designed these clothes [It was Ashley Shairpe - Ed]chose brilliant costumes. The funniest costume for me was Nick’s, who plays Lysander, as the costume is flares and a multi coloured shirt, nothing like I have ever seen in my lifetime.

Also I think that David has picked a brilliant cast. The first time I saw it I loved Paula, who plays Titania and Hippolyta. She was outstanding, but for me Jake’s (Demetrius) and Vanessa’s (Helena) performances have been consistent and strong every single time. The way they act is outstanding and they draw your attention with all the running about and shouting that they do! I was very impressed with Rosie’s performance and how she had real tears in her eyes as Rob (Theseus) shouts at her in the first half. Also Vanessa’s performance for me was amazing as she wants Demetrius so much, that the more he refuses her, the more she wants him. This for me is something a young person can relate to…if we get told we aren’t allowed to do or have something, it makes us work all the harder to get it!

I personally didn’t know that Shakespeare did comedies but watching this show makes me want to watch more of Shakespeare’s plays. Before this performance I really thought Shakespeare was a load of old balls, turns out it is, but not in the way that I first thought!
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