A Midsummer Night's Dream (2008): New Shakespeare Company, Open Air Theatre, London
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (2008)
CAST INCLUDED: Laura Donnelly (Hermia); Matthew Hart (Puck); Ben Joiner (Oberon); Annette McLaughlin (Titania, Helena); Nicholas Shaw (Lysander); Dale Superville (Bottom).
This production ran from 12 July - 2 August 2008. Production information from Theatre Record; may be incomplete.
"Introducing young children to Shakespeare through performance is an admirable enterprise, but Dominic Leclerc's version of this summer favourite, specially adapted for over-5s, could more easily confuse than inspire. His staging, designed by Rachael Canning, sets the work in a vaguely Victorian nursery, where characters emerge from a giant playbox....The action is preceded by a 20-minute modern-speech prologue, in which Dale Superville's affable Bottom explains the basics of the plot." ~ Sam Marlowe, "Reduced to mere child's play", The Times, 15 July 2008
"The reason why actors should never work with children was amply demonstrated at the press performance for Dominic Leclerc's revival, when the small boy plucked from the audience to play Moonshine in the final scene upstaged the professional actors and stole the show." ~ Lyn Gardner, The Guardian, 16 July 2008
"Dale Superville's energetic Bottom appeals particularly to younger children and the six versatile actors slip from one character to another." ~ Sarah Hemming, Financial Times, 16 July 2008, in Theatre Record 2008, Issue 14
"But the production's real MC is Bottom - the thespian weaver who vaunts himself as a great actor and, after nightfall, becomes the donkey lover of the fairy queen's dream. My four-year-old daughter was thrilled by Bottom's rude name and although the novelty may have worn off for the rest of us, Dale Superville delighted youngsters with his candour. He also has an ability to play along with the inevitable chaos that came with working with pressganged kids at the opening performance - his tail came off and the swinging lamp of the young man playing Moonshine got tangled up in the bunting." ~ Patrick Marmion, Daily Mail, 18 July 2008, in Theatre Record 2008, Issue 14