dream top

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Malvern Theatres


Paul Milton’s excellent adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a hilarious and very successful one. Whatever the purists might say, I think the Bard would have been delighted to see his play providing such wonderful entertainment more than 400 years after he wrote it.

The famous story is set in Athens and framed with the love and marriage celebration of King Theseus of Athens and Hyppolyta his Queen. The story of the young lovers, Lysander and Hermia, Demetrius and Helena, is troubled by Egeus and by the magical antics of Puck as directed by the Fairy King and Queen, Oberon and Titania. This is interwoven by the antics of the rude mechanicals who are preparing a play to entertain the royal couple at their wedding celebration.

Paul Milton has reshaped the play to centre around Bottom. This makes the play a genuine farce with elements of circus, clowning and slapstick. The cast make very rapid switches from role to role. The knockabout elements abound, the jokes around Bottom and his farts and follies weave in and out of the action.

This production is hugely energetic, lively, colourful and hilarious. The physical comedy produced by Tweedy in the key role of Bottom is side-splitting at times. The deckchair may be anachronistic but it is great fun. This ensures the play works for a audience of almost every age.

Shakespeare’s language is not easy for many but this cast enunciate very well and deliver the lines in a very expressive way that ensures that it is as clear as possible to follow. The colourful and creative costumes, the singing and the choreography all complemented the performance very well.

Around Tweedy’s brilliant antics, the cast swap in and out of different roles and costumes, and perform with great strength and skill. Laura Noble as Helena and Flute was particularly good, Troy Alexander (Theseus And Oberon) and Natalie Winsor (Hyppolita and Titania) provide a strong presence and persuasive performances. Nadia Shash showed great flexibility as Hermia, Quince and Peaseblossom. The story of Pyramus and Thisbe is performed with comic excellence.

This production was hugely entertaining; the audience loved it. Don’t miss it in Malvern this week! To 06-04-24.

Tim Crow


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