A Midsummer Night's Dream (2007): Bard in the Botanics, Glasgow Botanic Gardens
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (2007)
CAST (from Theatre Record): Paul Cunningham (Bottom, Demetrius); Ewan Donald (Puck); Lisa Gardner (Helena); John Macaulay (Oberon, Lysander); Beth Marshall (Titania, Hermia).
This production ran from 28 June - 14 July 2007. It was played with five actors doubling multiple roles, including the Mechanicals and lovers.
"It's not that Glasgow Rep's director Gordon Barr has failed to assemble a talented cast: Beth Marshall and Lisa Gardner both turn in decent performances as the female lovers, with Marshall in particular pulling off a powerful, lyrical double as Hermia and Titania...But the atmosphere of the show just never begins to work. Perhaps it's the fault of the interesting-but-weird pattern of doubling the characters - Titania/Hermia, Oberon/Lysander, Bottom/Demetrius - forced on Barr by his small cast. Perhaps it's the soundscape, a fuzzy ambient disco-beat that swells like a nasty ring-tone every time someone casts a spell. Or perhaps the cast, in crusty modern dress, are just too busy being down-home and accessible to realise that they are crushing all the natural magic out of some of the most beautiful lines in the English language." ~ Joyce McMillan, Scotsman, 3 July 2007, in Theatre Record 2007, Issue 13
"Those unfamiliar with the Bard's comedy of bewitched lovers and warring fairies may be slightly bamboozled the first time the mild-mannered Lysander (John Macaulay) transforms into a snorting, bull-like Oberon...but by the time the couples are all reconciled this Dream makes those with twice as many actors seem quite needlessly cluttered and extravagant....Admirably, director Gordon Barr hasn't trimmed the text to fit the size of the cast. Bottom (Paul Cunningham on excellent form) still calls upon the services of four distinct fairies and Ewan Donald plays them all, as well as a very busy Puck and a modest Peter Quince. Minimal costume additions signal the arrival of the players, leaving the actors to bring them to life with contrasting accents and mannerisms." ~ Shona Craven, Herald, 2 July 2007, in Theatre Record 2007, Issue 13