A Midsummer Night's Dream (1996): Haymarket Theatre, Leicester
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (1996)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Annette Badland (Titania); Helen Baxendale (Hermia); Jacqueline Defferary (Helena); David Elliot (Demetrius); Sean Harris (Lysander); Andrew Joseph (Bottom); Roger Lloyd Pack (Oberon).
This production ran from 8 February - 2 March 1996.
"For its new Midsummer Night's Dream, the Leicester Haymarket has borrowed Matthew Lloyd from the Hampstead Theatre as director. He has devised a curious show, often 'interesting' - it starts [with] several hares which soon disappear into the distance - but rarely funny, and then only with sudden onslaughts of knockabout comedy: in the Pyramus & Thisbe scene, of course, and for the lovers' last demented quarrels. I could easily believe that Lloyd began with intentions that never got realised. It looks good, in Ashley Martin-Davis's free-floating designs: just a deep semi-circle of luminous vertical cords, with suspended moon-globes (one huge, three smaller) and scatty costumes. All the upper-class Athenians wear posh pyjamas, with or without dressing gowns. The rude mechanicals sport orange boiler suits - which conceal lurid Lycra tights, with external underpants, because they have to double as the fairy troupe. Naturally they are much larger fairies than usual, and indeed the looming Mustard Seed [sic] [Chook Sibtain] commits a realistic near-rape upon Hermia the moment she ventures into the wood."
~ David Murray, "A good-looking 'Dream'", Financial Times, 19 February 1996