Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A Midsummer Night's Dream

So this is a little late, but on the 8th I went to see A Midsummer Night's Dream with my mum and friend; it was a really nice day, breezy walking along the Thames, but oh WOW did it get hot inside.
I've only been to the Globe once before when I was at school, to see Much Ado About Nothing; Mark Rylance played the king (he was in The Other Boleyn Girl and lots of other interesting things - he's kind of a big deal. People know him) and it was really exciting and fun to see real live acting in such an iconic theatre.
I was super excited to go again, and whilst I knew this play was a comedy, I hadn't studied it or even read it for pleasure before, so I was eager to find out what the story was. The website has a good, and brief, synopsis:
Verdict: 5/5
Light-hearted, raucous, fun.
This play was so funny. I know the 'language barrier' often makes people think they will misunderstand the humour of Shakespeare's plays, but this was hilarious. The interplay between the characters was really engaging, particularly between Oberon/Theseus and Titania/Hippolyta, and the story was very easy to understand.
I can't decide whether my favourite character was Bottom, played by Pearce Quigley, or Puck, played by Matthew Tennyson. Bottom was eccentric and oblivious, whereas Puck was eccentric and mischievous. Bottom, a member of the acting troupe "The Mechanicals", was a main source of humour because of his desire to play all the roles of their chosen play and his constant interrupting of other characters. During the final performance (a play within a play, clever!), Bottom's foot goes through the floorboard of their make-shift stage, so he has to sit on another character's back while it is mended. The awkwardness of the actors balancing on a tiny stage space was very amusing, and I'm not sure if it was part of the play or not but the other characters, who were watching the play (within a play) were laughing as much as the audience!
Puck was a very curious character, partly because Matthew Tennyson was so slight and looked so young I was trying to guess how old he is! Puck is the naughty servant of Oberon, who enchants both the right and the wrong people. Tennyson was amazing, he pranced around onstage like a ballet dancer and spoke so convincingly like he was in a fantasy world I really felt like I was there too.  
I particularly enjoyed how they created the forest, using branches and twigs, and the costumes and make-up were beautiful; feathery head adornments and animal masks, all earthy colours. I couldn't take any photos, but if you Google "Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare's Globe 2013", some good pictures come up.
It really was an experience to see this play, and although I wasn't standing in the pit, I enjoyed how the actors ran, or were chased, through the audience members. I would definitely recommend going to see this play specifically, but any Shakespeare play at the Globe is bound to be exciting and memorable for both the acting and environment. My next "want" is to see Macbeth.

1 comment:

  1. Great play, I loved studying this :) So many layers! Glad you enjoyed it!