A Midsummer Night's Dream (1982): Theatre Royal, Plymouth
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (1982)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Rodney Bewes (Bottom); Graham Callan (Demetrius); Selena Carey-Jones (Helena); Andrew Fell (Lysander); Jim Findley (Puck); Prunella Gee (Titania); Stella Goodier (Hermia); Paul Greenwood (Oberon).
This production was staged approximately June - July 1982; exact dates are unknown.
"Both Ron Daniels, for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Peter Dews at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth, have fashioned their [productions] around the age of materialism. In this case the supernatural strain is irrevocably diminished. Mr. Dews is a visiting director and his mixed offering gives little sense of the future identity of this fledgling theatre company. The drawings of Aubrey Beardsley become the inspiration for the spirits, but I had to glean this information from the programme notes. This is not to suggest that designer Sean Cavanagh has botched his work. The detail is fine, if highly coloured. But surely what one remembers about Beardsley is his flamboyance, his burlesque, that touch of bitterness. These palpably earthly sprites are an oddly muted crew, and Paul Greenwood and Prunella Gee make a prosaic royal couple....A good Puck can rescue the most perilous divide between immortals and mortals, and Jim Findley makes a fleet-footed effort, though he too gets lost in the language." ~ Rosalind Carne, Financial Times, 28 June 1982
"Costumed in the Edwardian period, the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta is emphasised by a huge white silken marquee which hovers over the whole stage, which by the inventiveness of the designer Sean Cavanagh and the ingenuity of the stage staff, can be transformed into a number of cantilevered cat walks for the Immortals as well as a large and inviting spider's web for Titania to rest in....Puck's grotesque caperings were beautifully portrayed by Jim Findley with his energentic and eccentric walks and entrances, and he again, for a short space, played Philostrate; while Leila Bertrand made a very eloquent Fairy, assisted by four well disciplined young lads from Devenport High School as attendants." ~ Harvey Crane, The Stage and Television Today, 15 July 1982, p. 23