Monday, 12 September 2016

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Sydney Theatre Company
'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is one of William Shakespeare's most popular plays and a compulsory text during my high school studies. Not that I remember it that well, apart from fairies, mechanicals, Kings and Queens and delightful character names like Puck and Bottom.

I saw the first preview of this current production by the Sydney Theatre Company and was somewhat unnerved when the Director took the stage before 'curtain up' to announce that this was the first ever full run through. If there was a need to pause the performance we were urged to talk amongst ourselves until the performance recommenced. Evidently there was no full run through during the rehearsal period. Maybe that is the usual case but I would have assumed there would usually be a complete run through at some point before presenting a work to the public.

Anyway, the night went off beautifully. A sparse set totally black apart from a white stage and white trim at the bottom of the three walls surrounding it. The performance commencing with, of all things, 'Summertime' from George Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess'. That is probably a first for Shakespeare.

The performers were very energetic. I can't recall ever seeing as much hectic full speed running back and forth across a stage but then I suppose this is an Olympic year.

The cast drew full comedic value from the play within a play final moments.

Not a traditional presentation but very entertaining especially towards the end.


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