A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Independent Ballet Wales at the Civic Theatre
Morris Dancing to Mendelssohn ?
The Rude Mechanicals, with their silly walks, shod in clogs, scripts in pockets, were one of the chief delights of this imaginative interpretation of Shakespeare's comedy. Quince's prologue, with bows and bouquets, and the “rough musick” for their Loony Tunes Pyramus and Thisbe, were laugh-aloud funny – and the Bard's lines were instantly recognizable in their beard-coming, lion-roaring rehearsal.
It would be hard to appreciate Sleeping Beauty without some notion of the fairy tale, and you did need to know the plot here too, I think.
The style was a mix of modern and classical, the music a mix of the familiar Mendelssohn and the unfamiliar Telemann, which I thought worked rather better.
The entertainment factor was high, thanks to the fresh ideas in the staging – the umbrella bower, Bully Bottom's dreamcoat – and the youthful exuberance of the dancers: Daisuke Muira's Puck, Lauren Poulton's Helena, Mandev Sokhi's Bottom, and Iselin Eie Bowen's Titania, in a superb pas-de-deux with Richard Read's Oberon against the “cold fruitless moon”.
A Midsummer Night's Dream was choreographed by Artistic Director Darius James, with costume designs by Yvonne Greenleaf.