Midsummer Night’s Dream, 3***, London

by William Shakespeare.
3Stars ***
The Rose Playhouse, 56 Park Street, London SE1 9AR to 26 August 2017.

Tues-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sun 3pm.
Runs 90 mins No interval.

TICKETS: 020 7261 9565
Review: William Russell 5 August.

A jolly romp into the woods and out again
This cut to the bone version of the play is a hugely entertaining affair in which the cast of eight double roles to real effect. Best of all is Sydney Aldridge, maybe not a beanpole Helena, but a wonderfully boastful Bottom.

The rude mechanicals can be horribly unfunny, but here they are a hoot, especially when the recruit a youth from the audience to play Wall. Alex Pearson has directed with a nice comic touch and the actors rise to the occasion. Nick Oliver is a handsome Leander and is adept at whirling a hoola hoop, Clark Alexander laments lamentably as Thisbe and languishes lankily as Demetrius and Elinor Machen-Fortune leaps around in spritely fashion, scarlet of head and in scarlet fishnets, as a female Puck. But no more names. Everyone delivers and Pearson’s production is as good a way of enjoying a mid – or even late summer evening as one could imagine.

Helena/Bottom: Sydney Aldridge.
Demetrius/Thisbe: Clark Alexander.
Titania/Hippolyta: Cindy-Jane Armbruster.
Puck/Philostrate: Elinor Machen-Fortune.
Theseus/Oberon: Ian Hathway.
Egeus/Peter Quince: Robert Hazle.
Leander/Starvling/Fairy: Nick Oliver.
Hermia/Snug: Rhiannon Sommers.

Director: Alex Pearson.
Lighting Designer: David Palmer.
Lighting Designer: Misha Anker.
Set & Costume Designer: Isabella Van Braeckel.
Choreography: Ian Hathway.
Additional Music/Arrangements: Robert Hazle.

2017-08-09 10:31:35

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