Tv blabs, movie blabs, book blabs. Lots of blab, but no flab.

Sunday, June 27

A Midsummer Night's Dream

This is my favourite Shakespeare play. It's mystical, comical and a lot of fun. It also has one of the funniest scenes ever written, the Mechanicals play.

Bell Shakespeare Company is based in the Sydney and, thankfully, tours north once a year. I have only seen one other Bell touring show here, The Servant of Two Masters. A riot of a show and certainly the best theatre I saw all year (Living where I do, that's not a hard task. Not a lot of plays unfortunately).

This was the shortest version of the show I've been to. Nigh on two and a half hours it flew along nicely. As with any Shakespeare, once your past the first 20 minutes you forget that you are struggling to understand what's being said. The problem was for the first 20 minutes I had three children behind me who were talking, moving about and eating something in a scrunching bag. Who knows why they were there in the first place.

Anyway, about the show. The cast were excellent. It is so important to be able to understand every word that the actors utter, and this ensemble delivered them clearly. Oberon's diction was amazing. Puck was rather acrobatic and tumbled around the action energetically. The lovers were all suitably cast, but just didn't bring out the comedy of those characters quite enough for me. They were funny, but they didn't get the same laughs as I've seen before. That of course didn't stop me laughing when no one else did.

The set was very simplistic. Something that is important for a touring production. A large ring above the stage with a curtain track underhung with double layer of white transparent material that could surround the entire ring and the stage. It worked very well and proved very versatile.

The costumes for the Athenians were simple formal wear and worked well. The disappointing part for me was the sprite costumes. All the chorus were in white tatters. While the design worked, they didn't stand out against the white background very well. Needed more colour.

A very enjoyable production. A shame they only come once a year.

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