A Midsummer Night's Dream (2008): Royal Shakespeare Company, The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (2008)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Edward Bennett (Demetrius); Tom Davey (Lysander); Peter de Jersey (Oberon); Joe Dixon (Bottom); Kathryn Drysdale (Hermia); Mark Hadfield (Puck); Andrea Harris (Titania); Natalie Walter (Helena).
This production was a revival of Gregory Doran's 2005 RSC production, which played in the old Royal Shakespeare Theatre; it was largely re-cast in 2008, although Joe Dixon returned in a different role. It ran from 9 May - 13 November 2008 at the Courtyard Theatre and transferred to the Novello Theatre, London from 15 January - 7 February 2009.
"It is Dream-time again with a recast, redesigned revival of Gregory Doran's 2005 RSC production. In place of Stephen Brimson Lewis's bedknobs, broomsticks and piled-up junk, Francis O'Connor has come up with a shimmering, mirrored space dominated by a blue moon and suspended bulb-like stars....Its best feature is its athletic quartet of lovers. Kathryn Drysdale's death-threatened Hermia looks justifiably pissed-off when Tom Davey's dopey Lysander asks: 'Why is your cheek so pale?', and in the forest reveals a feral, untamed spirit....But Joe Dixon's Bottom , while suitably bombastic, could do more with the character's magical awakening from his dream - here largely an excuse for a phallic gag." ~ Michael Billington, "A Midsummer Night's Dream", The Guardian, 20 May 2008.
"Peter de Jersey and Andrea Harris are an imperious Oberon and Titania at Stratford, with de Jersey perhaps overusing the richness of his voice." ~ Ian Shuttleworth, "Sweet 'Dreams' are made of this", Financial Times, 23 May 2008
"The fairies resemble punks, goths and street derelicts and brandish sinister voodoo-like dolls; there is a great mirror at the back of the stage that reflects the audience, lighting effects out of a Sixties happening, and a giant moon slowly traversing the playing area; there are also sequences when actors take thrillingly to the air....the King and Queen of the fairies imperiously performed by Peter de Jersey and Amanda Harris....the superb Joe Dixon (who was Oberon in 2005) is a wonderfully engaging Bottom, boomy, bossy and bumptious, but with a haunting vein of melancholy and wonder about him, too." ~ Charles Spencer, "Dark delights in the magical forest", Daily Telegraph, 20 May 2008