A Midsummer Night's Dream (2013): Bristol Old Vic, Handspring Puppet Company
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (2013)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Saikat Ahamed (Puck); Naomi Cranston (Helena); Alex Felton (Lysander); Akiya Henry (Hermia); Kyle Lima (Demetrius); Saskia Portway (Titania); David Ricardo-Pearce (Oberon).
This production ran from 28 February - 4 May 2013 in Bristol. It subsequently transferred to the Barbican Theatre with the same cast and ran from 10 - 15 February 2014. It also played at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. No further venues are known for its tour at this time.
"They triumphed with the wondrous War Horse [at the National Theatre], yet Tom Morris and the South African puppetry company Handspring turn Shakespeare's comedy into an exercise curiously lacking in heart. There's visual and kinetic ingenuity, but there's also clumsiness and some alarmingly lacklustre acting." ~ Sam Marlowe, The Times, 12 February 2014, in Theatre Record 2014, Issue 3
"Set in a carpenter's workshop, with the cast clad in checkered lumberjack shirts, the setting seems suited to Handspring's brand of wooden wizardry. Sadly, neither the magic nor the comedy fully connect in Morris's uneven production, and the puppets, so integral to War Horse, here feel unneeded. Puck, in particular, is poorly conceived: formed out of various workbench tools, the little thing looks cluttered alongside the three actors who control and voice him, while the wacky whoosing and zooming noises that accompany his movements are closer to Disney sidekick than forest imp....There are good laughs to be had from the squabbling pairs of lovers, most notably in a scene-stealing bit of physical comedy between Lysander (Alex Felton) and Hermia (Akiya Henry)." ~ William Moore, Evening Standard, 11 February 2014, in Theatre Record 2014, Issue 3
"Although much of this is inventive, the production appears to be at the service of the props, rather than the props at the service of the play and, despite fine performances from David Ricardo-Pearce, Saskia Portway, Akiya Henry and Alex Felton, the end result is laboured." ~ Michael Arditti, Sunday Express, 16 February 2014, in Theatre Record 2014, Issue 3