Review - A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Margaret Hearne recently saw the Mitchell School of Drama’s take on the Shakespeare classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream and this is her review.

To witness this “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is to enter a world of enchantment.

Magic and mystery abound, and cause mayhem in the material world - is this not the very essence of Shakespeare’s play? But what this production offers also is charm - in the music, the costumes, the set, and in the actors’ performances. Smiles and shining eyes abound, while the company’s enthusiasm is palpable.

Most impressive of all is each young actor’s ability not only to speak the dialogue intelligently but also to communicate to the audience every nuance of every line.

The level of understanding of the text is outstanding and comes from a company process of devising the show as an ensemble; indeed the ensemble share many of the highlights as they sing and dance their way through “Dream a little dream of me” and “Dream Lover”.

All the principal characters give strong performances: Joe Simpson is both a romantic Theseus and a self-loving Oberon, Rosalind Watt portrays Hippolyta and Titania with great poise and style; Imogen Watt excells as a fun-loving Puck while Isla Kinnaird is a charming changeling child.

The four lovers (Eliz. Smith, Abbie Faskin, Aaron Bisset, Reuben Gedge) swing violently and comically in their passions and rivalry.

For knockabout comedy credit must be given to Archie Whyte (Peter Quince) and Paul Paterson (Bottom) and their troupe giving a hilarious send-up of amateur “ham” acting.

There are constant moments of surprise and delights: the reporting of The Royal Wedding by STV news; the magical flying birds; the pictures of The Royals in their castle home, ending with Puck locking the door.

With a twinkling set, striking costumes by Liz Cork, and sensitive sound and music from Ashley Forbes’ band, this show is a delight.

Catch it at The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen as part of AIYF from July 28-30.