A Midsummer Night's Dream (1992): National Theatre, Olivier Theatre
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (1992)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Simon Coates (Demetrius); Rudi Davies (Demetrius); Sally Dexter (Titania); Rupert Graves (Lysander); Jeffery Kissoon (Oberon); Angela Laurier (Puck); Indra Ove (Hermia); Timothy Spall (Bottom).
This production ran from 3 July 1992 - 6 January 1993.
"Is it no man's land after the Battle of the Somme? Is it Bangladesh after a tidal wave? Could it be - the scuttling, crablike figure with legs where arms should be, and vice versa, would seem to suggest so - a pond prepared for David Attenborough? No, it is Athens as it has been re-imagined by Robert Lepage and his designer, Michael Levine, for the most original Dream since Peter Brook's version two decades ago, and the most strange and disturbing since - but there I have no memory to match it....The danger facing the cast would seem to be swamp fever, since the centre of the stage is all brackish water and the rim all mud. The lovers slip around it, splattering each other with goo when angry....Hence the pond-life in a fairyland that, governed by Jeffery Kissoon's black-gowned Oberon, might be a murky Hades. A blue-faced fairy, streaked with muck, mimes sex with a Puck that, as played by the contortionist Angela Laurier, has evolved from crab to spider....The potential for pretentiousness is obvious; but, if there are caveats, that is not one. Those unfamiliar with the play may be distracted by all the wallowing. Some good lines are lost in the physical ado. Comedy is inevitably lacking, and too often consists of the sheer incongruity of, say, Lysander lying down in mud on the line 'here is my bed'....Indre Ove's fine Hermia makes us feel the anguish of having a lover forced on her..." ~ Benedict Nightingale, "Dreaming in the goo", The Times, 11 July 1992