A Midsummer Night's Dream (1987): Nottingham Playhouse
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (1987)
PRNCIPAL CAST: Allister Bain (Oberon); Winston Crooke (Lysander); Noreen Kershaw (Titania); Renny Krupinski (Puk); Diane-Louise Jordan (Hermia); Roger Rowland (Bottom); Francesca Ryan (Helena).
The first performance of this production took place on 3 June 1987.
"It is a likeable and good-hearted account of the play, with a genuninely hilarious 'Pyramus and Thisbe' interlude, an excellent Bottom from Roger Rowland, and an enchanting lunar set from Robert Jones. I am not sure, however, that director Andrew Hays's idea of pairing black and white actors for the Oberon/Titania relationship and for the pairs of young lovers works well for the play. The comedy of Titania's degrading infatuation for the ass-headed Bottom is also blunted by having her talking, as Noreen Kershaw does, with a bumpkin trull's accent. It is much more awkward and effective if you have her drooling bestially over Bottom in cut glass tones." ~ Paul Taylor, "Succeeding with failure", Independent, 6 June 1987
"...this production...is also strikingly contemporary - with Edwardian dress for the masters and modern dress for the commoners, emphasising the great political and social divide. What gets sacrificed, while every mischevious stop is pulled out and everything wonderfully turned on its head, is some of the poetry. The Elizabethan power of the father is represented by the hard-line taken today by West Indian fathers towards their children. The idea works well, but the voices are uncomfortably wrong for Shakespearean verse. The pace of Theseus/Oberon and Egeus sometimes led to crucial loss of meaning, [if] you did not know the text well." ~ Pat Ashworth, "Midsummer Night's Dream", 6 June 1987