A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. The Bridge theatre National Theatre Live until 1 July 2020. 4****. William Russell.. 4****

For reasons I do not understand we missed reviewing Nicholas Hytner’s production of this much revived comedy last year although I did eventually see it. Maybe the Dream comes round so often that I couldn’t face it and by the time I went it was too late in the run to do so. When it comes to variations on a theme directors tend to have loads of fun with this one and Nicholas Hytner is no exception, coming up with a splendid plot twist – it is Oberon who ends up in love with the Ass after Puck makes a mess of things. His production also achieves what so many miss – he has a superb Bottom in Hammed Animashau who is outrageously funny. The rude mechanicals all too often fail to raise a titter. But here you will fall about with laughter.
Into the play Hytner as tossed pretty well everything you can think of from daring young persons on the flying trapeze to bouncing moon balls, glass prisons and stages that rise and fall as well as more gender fluidity than seems possible. Gwendoline Christie shines as Titania, Oliver Chris finds love as Oberon and David Moorst is an acrobatic and very camp puck. It is in every sense a good night out with Hytner playing with his toys – he uses all the resources of the Bridge just as he did with Juliet Caesar. The laughs come thick and fast, with some not actually put there by the Bard.
Photograph: Manuel Harlan.

ReviewsGate Copyright Protection