Set in 1958, Adam Morris’s Musical version of A Midsummer Nights Dream offers a vibrant and exciting depiction of the play. Featuring live music from a team of actor-musicians, Morris aimed to transport one of Shakespeare’s most popular works to the fun of the 50’s.
A Midsummer Nights Dreamis one of Shakespeare’s more comical plays,it portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseusand Hippolyta and follows the travels of four young Athenian lovers and a group of actors.
The play centers around the love triangle between, Hermia, Lysander, Helena and Demetrius. Whilst the acting from these four main characters was entertaining and engaging, it did at times feel slightly too forced and somewhat unrealistic, with the first half being about 20 minutes too long. However the second half saw vast improvements with the fun and lively acting group, led by Bottom, performing their play for the rest of the cast, although their act too, did somewhat drag towards the end.
The theatre itself did however add to the experience, seating no more than 50 people, the audience was able to fully engage with the production, which is always appreciated. Moreover the set was well thought out and effectively adapted in every scene.
Helena (Naomi Bullock) by far, stood out from the rest of the cast. She effectively conveyed her confusion when her long time love interest Demetrius, previously in love with Hermia, suddenly falls for Helena herself, after the fairies drop him a love potion. Her character was exciting and diverse and she was successful in captivating the audience.
All in all, the play proved to be mostly entertaining and would perhaps be a good introduction to Shakespeare for those about to study it at school or with a general interest in his work.
- By William Shakespeare
- Directed by Adam Morris
- Cast includes: Naomi Bullock, Benedict Chambers, Samantha Louise Clark, Lara Frances
- The Courtyard Theatre, London
- Until 7 September 2014
- Time: 19.30 (Running Time: 2hrs 20 mins)
- Review by Julia Bayer
- 21st August 2014