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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Published on June 28th 2005.

Revival of the play by William Shakespeare

Hilarious, totally hilarious. A play written over 400 years ago has the power, language and relevance to reduce one to helpless, deep seated laughter.

Perhaps the first of Shakespeare’s mature plays, the abiding memory of this wonderful, decorative, comic and gloriously directed production is one of enormous pleasure and joy.

Gregory Doran, one of the greatest living Shakespearian directors manages to convey the magic, the emotion, the dream like quality, the mystery and the sheer joy of the play. They resonate endlessly.

The play is a staple of the canon. Enduringly popular, this is one of the best productions of this play in the last half century. Indelibly associated with fairies, any part time thespian should be assured that the sure touch of Doran brings new insight into their role. Anybody lucky enough to have seen his “Venus and Adonis” will see the development of ideas mooted there.

His fairies influence, affect and alter the normal course of things. Love is toyed with, nothing is quite as it seems. The four rather confused lovers have a farcical squabble scene. Admirably and lucidly performed in the best traditions of the RSC all it needs is Brian Rix auditioning for a part, running across the stage with his trousers round his ankles, to embellish the action.

But to my main message. ”The Rude Mechanicals” (Brummie Labourers!!!) played with such posing, exhibitionism exhilaration, pomposity, arrogance, wit, fun and earnestness dominate the night and this review.

Never have I enjoyed them so much. A stunning sextet led superbly by Malcolm Storry, a supreme Bottom (if you will excuse the phrase!!). I laughed, belly laughs, until tears ran down my face. They are a riot.

A lunatic humour pervades everything. Difficult to do full justice to, but essential viewing. Innovative and creative. A great evening carrying the pursuit of excellence to new heights.

All in all, a life confirming experience with fine performances from a stellar cast who deserve unstinted praise and thanks. A night of theatre to restore one’s belief in the extraordinary.

Walk, run, or hitch a lift to Stratford whilst this marvellous production is still in the repertoire. Buy, beg, steal but obtain a ticket at any price.

A little help for you .The RSC ticket hotline is 0870 609 1110. Please book tickets now and take anything you can get. An experience such as this is worth going the extra mile.

If you manage to obtain tickets another recommendation - Prior to the performance spend an hour in “The Dirty Duck“ drinking and nibbling the “rustic bread”. A new experience.

After the play eat at ”The Duck”. With some luck there will be cast members there which will add to the night. It is the RSC actors' local. Phone No 01789 297312.

Have a great time and click here to let us know all about your visit and experience.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Richard Burbage

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