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Review: Midsummer Night's Dream

Tuesday 18 June 2019

An outdoor, abridged version of one of Shakespeare’s classic plays, performed by our UF and LE year groups (Year 9/10) on 6th, 7th and 8th June. This was the first fully sustainable production at Christ’s Hospital. The performance took place in a beautiful wooded glade (but was very sadly rained off and into the Theatre for one day's performances.)

Let me begin by laying my cards on the table; of all Shakespeare’s plays, Midsummer Night’s Dream is my least favourite. It was therefore with some misgiving that I prepared to attend the middle school production of this extravaganza. I could not have been more wrong.

The play was delightful, the setting was charming and I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. It helped of course that this production was sensibly modified to an accommodating 75 minutes, but at no time was I bored, or in pain from poor Shakespearian interpretation. I adored the sustainable set, the woodland scenery, the fairy lights, the tepee and soft bedding; I loved the idea of the fairies flitting around with the villagers in the forest backdrop, creating exactly the right atmosphere of magic and mystery through which the narrative of the Dream could unfold.

There were some bold characterisations from the moment the play commenced as Theseus (played by Bunkuiyi) took to the stage with his court. The four lovers, Hermia (Alice), Demetrius (Jake), Lysander (Keir) and Helena (Rosy) quickly created the tension for the love triangle. At the fairy court, Will masterfully controlled the stage as Oberon and Fisher provided much mischief as Puck. Lilian was a stylish Titania and surrounded by her fluttering fairies she was the centre of an elegant court in which truly, ‘Magic reigns, fairies interfere and anything can happen, both weird and wonderful.’

A word of praise must also be extended to Bottom and his fellow artisans for their wonderfully funny performance of Pyramus and Thisbe. Myron was excellent as the over confident Bottom ably supported by Kit as the long-suffering Peter Quince.  Jacob came into his own as Francis Flute in the role of Thisbe, flirting beautifully opposite Bottom and his enormous ego. Georgie in particular brought a unique humour to her role as Tom Snout, AKA the ‘wall’ and clearly improvised with great spontaneity to provide extra humour on the night.

A huge well done to Zoe Munday as the Director. Her creativity and vision flowed strong throughout the production. Her bold choice of venue, the skilful lighting which drew on the evening light, the gorgeous flowers, the ethereal fairy costumes which contrasted so well with the courtly outfits, all spun together to create a rich tapestry of colour and design. An imaginative, funny and clever production, which brought out the best of all the middle school performers. 

By Leanda Thornton, History Teacher.

 

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