It Was All A Dream…

The first time I heard of A Midsummer Night’s Dream I was six years old. That piece of work ended up being my all time favourite so having the opportunity to be able to attend a real production was amazing. When you entered the auditorium, fog was rolling out through the audience, creating a mystified and fantastical effect along with the eerie silence. A few minutes later, however, an EDM song started blasting through the speakers, and the opening scene was all the Athenians dancing at a nightclub. This was a memorable way to commence a play, and it most certainly made an impression on me.

When the music ebbed out and the conversation started, it was like entering another world. Obviously, I did not have low expectations of this production of my favourite Shakespearean play, but I did not expect such a masterpiece. I was nervous as to how one could fit the story of A Midsummer Night’s Dream into a nightclub, but the way the crew of this play delivered had me astonished and astounded. The way they managed to enhance the whole auditorium with the spotlights made the whole experience much more enjoyable, especially as they broadcasted the settings, which also happened to be the name of the nightclubs, in large letters across the wall, making it easy for the audience to follow along as it might have been confusing otherwise.

Not the same level of attention was given to the costume. All men (except Puck who had a more punk-rock outfit) wore suits and most of the women wore dresses or exotic skirts. Preferably, the costumes could have been more carefully thought through as it is more often than not the costume helps build the perception one has of a character. Nevertheless, it would have been hard to know if Lysander and Demetrius were noblemen or not had it not been for their seemingly expensive suits.

All the actors were perfectly matched with their characters, and the way they really embraced their roles and the concept of a comedy was astonishing. I would really like to know how they managed such perfect casting.

The play followed the story of the Athenians and the Faeries. It is a story about the lives of lovers and spurring revenge as well as the feeling of waking up from a strange dream, and realising that it was, after everything, just that. Throughout the main play, however, was an interwoven web of another story. The story of the Mechanicals. The story about Pyramus and Thisbe. The story that also happens to be the foundation of Shakespeare’s most famous play, Romeo and Juliet.

The part that has stuck with me the most from that play was when Lion ran in and revealed herself to be not a real lion, and Theseus (played by Mai Gherardi) screamed with utter shock, “OH MY GOD, IT’S A COSTUME!” Throughout the play there were a lot of improvised lines but this one was definitely the one that made an imprint on me. This line might even be my go-to quote now. The way they entwined two stories in one, was magnificent and I was breathless watching it.

They even implemented modern English in their script, along with the Shakespearean English, and it was impressive to see they had memorised almost everything perfectly, with only a few minor slip ups. It was clear which of the actors were the most experienced based on the fact that they could deliver the lines with ease.  It was incredible to see that these actors all managed to feel at ease with their roles and their characters. However, it was understandable that they were more experienced than the others because of the fact that many of them are taking theatre as a DP Higher Level subject and have been doing it for much longer.

I really enjoyed the play and hope to see more modernisations of Shakespeare’s plays because this one was fantastic!