"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Theatre Company and Writtle CARDS
would have known and loved local amateur dramatics.
village productions of his plays are rare, thanks to waning
enthusiasm and higher audience expectations.
good to welcome this joint effort, directed by Michael Lewis.
to enjoy, in a version lasting only just over two hours including the
interval, with a choice of customized punches. And
I don't mean just the hiccups and the wardrobe malfunction when a
cummerbund went the way of Thisbe's mantle, to the audible delight of
two ladies in row F.
crew of patches, led by Syd Smith's Quince and Geoff Hadley's Bully
Bottom – nicely dressed as tradesmen – came into their own in the
excruciating rehearsal and the chaotic "show" – Chris
Wright's nervous Flute a particular delight.
Smith and Kenton Church played the testy rivals, their lovers were
Leila Francis, who also assisted the director, and Laura Bennett,
whose characterization – jealous, frustrated, tearful – was
excellent. I liked the way their "weeds of Athens" got more
and more distressed during that eventful night in the woods. Other
stand-outs in a large cast were Daniel Curley's irate Egeus and Jean
Speller's beautifully spoken Titania.
ambitious undertaking, supported by the RSC's Open Stages scheme,
boasted an atmospheric forest, designed by Les Leeds, and some very
young apprentices – playing the fairies, mothered by Sarah Wilson's
Merry Wanderer, but also lanthorn, dog and Philostrate – shared by
cleft-apple twins. The Bard would surely have approved.