A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Bottom ups enjoyment
A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2002:
Bournemouth Shakespeare Players, Priory Gardens, Christchurch
Daniel Sutton played the most gloriously gormless Snout I have ever seen, but just to prove he was only acting he also directed this extremely funny and contemporarily-costumed production with considerable flair.
The star of the show, for me, was Kevin Dicker, revelling with undisguised glee in his role as a woolly-hatted Bottom. His “death” scene as Pyramus, opposite avery impressive young Adam Russell as Thisbe was a real joy. While we are on the subject of the Mechanicals, I also loved Chris Gorman’s north-country Mrs Quince. Well, Shakespeare used men as women so why not the other way round?
The court of Oberon (Denis Carlton) and Titania (Elizabeth Bal) included just one fairy, Peaseblossom, but Jane Haynes’ splendid, stroppy characterisation more than made up for the lack of numbers. And Simon Carlton’s Pan-like Puck, although sometimes vocally indistinct, was wonderfully expressive.
Ross Halford (Lysander) and Steve Nairn (Demetrius) showed promise despite falling into the trap of speaking too quickly, but there were outstanding performances from Rebecca Legrand (Hermia) and Natalie Arkell (Helena) which culminated in an excellent hair-pulling cat fight.
And thankfully I didn’t slumber through this enjoyable evening. in which shadows most certainly did not offend. The production continues this week from Tuesday to Saturday.