A Midsummer Night's Dream (2006): Dundee Rep Company
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (2006)
Cast includes: Kim Gerard (Hermia); Keith Fleming (Demetrius); Kevin Lennon (Puck); Irene MacDougall (Titania); Cameron Mowat (Lysander); Robert Paterson (Bottom); Okon Ubanga-Jones (Oberon); Emily Winter (Helena). (Relevant cast information on this entry may be incomplete; taken from Theatre Record, not programme)
This production ran from 28 August - 16 September 2006, according to Theatre Record.
"It's a particularly British sort of midsummer night that drips into life in Dominic Hill's inclement Shakespeare. No breezy June evening this, but a night of thunder, lightning and rain, creating a very wet Dream indeed. Hill's purpose is to draw out the dark side of a comedy that's more often played as foolish whimsy. A close-cropped Irene MacDougall sets the tone with a Hippolyta who is no gracious bride-to-be but a sour-faced spoil of war refusing to share in the pre-marital excitement of Okon Ubanga-Jones's towering Theseus....Few of the company escape a dunking in the channel that cuts across the sloping planks of Naomi Wilkinson's set - more crumbling theatre of dreams than pastoral landscape." ~ Mark Fisher, Guardian, 5 September 2006
"The roof of Theseus's palace is leaking from all the rain and, in the dank wood, mist drifts across the standing pools. The wide expanse of wooden floor, which is more or less all of Naomi Wilkinson's set, tilts down towards the front of the stalls. What with the constant rain, it is a slippery slope in every sense, down which events career at gathering speed....Hill's stagecraft is such that he might get away with it if the performances were less uneven. Kim Gerard and Cameron Mowat, the two young recruits to Dundee's standing repertory company, do better as Hermia and Lysander than their more experienced counterparts. Irene MacDougall's regal Titania overshadows Okon Ubanga-Jones's Oberon. Fortunately, the Mechanicals remain a reliable joy." ~ Robert Dawson Scott, "Damp wooing that lacks the power to love", The Times, 8 September 2006
"From the martial drumbeats onwards, received notions of Shakespeare's hallucinogenic romp through the woods are dumped in Dominic Hill's down-and-dirty production....Inhabitants of the underworld come on like mutant refugee survivors of some alchemy-inspired apocalypse, with Kevin Lennon's Puck a feral and damaged wild boy in the care of Okon Ubanga-Jones's magisterial Oberon." ~ Neil Cooper, Herald, 2 September 2006, in Theatre Record 2006, Issue 18
"As the action moves beyond the city of Athens, and out onto Naomi Wilkinson's dark-toned set - a great tiled floor of black-stained wood, sluiced by a fine drizzle of rain and cut through by a dark, turbulent trench of water - we can see how seriously director Dominic Hill and his team are taking the play's twin dark themes of madness among mortals, and of cruel, cold-eyed manipulation among fairy folk. Broken hospital bedsteads lie scattered around, while Puck and his fairies scuttle and gibber like a bunch of bedlam inmates or post-holocaust mutants, and in the trench of water, characters are drowned or baptised, initiated, cleansed, befouled, punished or reborn, both for better or worse. The difficulty with all of this, of course, is that it to some extent it [sic] fights key elements of Shakespeare's text, those which evoke genuine beauty, magic and romance. When Okon Ubanga-Jones's magisterial Oberon/Theseus tells us that he knows a bank where the wild thyme blows, for example, it's difficult even to imagine it in such a turbulent setting." ~ Joyce McMillan, Scotsman, 6 September 2006, in Theatre Record 2006, Issue 18