A Midsummer Night's Dream (1992): Salisbury Playhouse
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (1992)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Alastair Galbraith (Lysander); Susannah Hitching (Hermia); Tracey Mitchell (Puck); Jane Montgomery (Helena); Pooky Quesnal (Titania); Simon Robson (Oberon); Tim Sabel (Demetrius)
This production ran from 24 September - 17 October 1992. It was also the recipient of a grant under the Arts Council's "Be Bold" scheme which, as the programme notes, "permitted longer than usual rehearsal periods, a larger cast, the use of a choreographer and the commissioning of an original musical score." The programme also notes that it was only one of six regional theatres to win such an award, naming the Bristol Old Vic and the Leicester Haymarket as co-recipients. (Also see the Octagon Theatre, Bolton's production of Titus Andronicus, which was another of the regional theatres to win the "Be Bold" award). Prior to this Dream, the Salisbury Playhouse had not had a main house Shakespeare production for seven years.
"Paige and designer Isabella Bywater have created a brilliantly original [Robert] Lepage-like [Coveney frequently references in his review the Lepage NT production, which also played in 1992] womb-forest for the comedy within the Athenian palace. The stark classical wall has a broken architrave and single sunflower. It softens and turns a dappled green. Puck unexpectedly disappears through it when she puts a girdle round the earth. This surprise exit reveals the first of many slits, crannies and chinks through which lovers whisper, fairies dive and limbs extend to envelop the aroused Titania." ~ Michael Coveney, "Burlington Gerties", Observer, 4 October 1992