A Midsummer Night's Dream (2015): Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
PrA Midsummer Night's Dream (2015)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Garry Cooper (Oberon); Emma Curtis (Helena); Sharon Duncan-Brewster (Titania); Cynthia Erivo (Puck); Charlotte Hope (Hermia); Dean Nolan (Bottom); Tom Varey (Lysander); Matt Whitchurch (Demetrius).
This production ran from 21 March - 18 April 2015.
"The measure of a good Dream is how it manages the transition between the killjoy austerity of the Athenian court and the magical mayhem of the woods. The Everyman's new associate director has come up with a convincing, low-tech solution that places the action amid the chalk dust and colourless uniforms of a minor public school. However, what really matters is what lies beyond the blackboard, which Ashley Martin-Davis's design reveals to be a forest shredded into waist-high drifts of discarded homework. Though the inevitable rustling can become a bit distracting at times, the paper makes an absorbant medium for Peter Mumford's gloriously iridescent lighting; and it's great fun to see Titania's bower hastily heaped together as if the fairies have decided to put their queen out with the recycling. These fairies turn out to be a fairly sinister lot - a group of faceless, burly henchman glimpsed only in silhouette - though Bagnall makes the point that the forest should be as sinister as it is enchanting....Sharon Duncan-Brewster's sultry Titania is poured into a sparkly sheath-dress like a supernatural Nina Simone." ~ Alfred Hickling, The Guardian, 30 March 2015
"It's marvellously, if sometimes rather chaotcally entertaining and glitters with mischief. Yet alongside the uncanny - the vengeful fairies, narcotic flowers and fever dreams - are more disturbing undertones. Be warned; a happy ending is not guaranteed....Ashley Martin-Davis's design is lined with white doors and mirrors creating dizzying double images and filled with heaps of crumpled paper. It's at once suggestive of the aftermath of an office riot and of early-morning, litter-strewn city streets. Titania (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) and Oberon (Garry Cooper) stumble into view like a warring couple on the way home from a party, she in sequins and a single shoe, he shirtless in a tux. And Cyntia Erivo's aerialist Puck - part stage illusionist, part fairy ringmaster with top hat and cane - is a bitter, wounded little sprite, harried by a despotic, patriarchal Oberon. Yet it's great fun, the lovers' confusion bittersweet, frenetic and hormonally charged and the mechanicals a burly gang of manual workers in high-vis building gear. Dean Nolan's plump, bearded Bottom is instantly adorable, his cavortings with Titania lustily saucy and his unexpected appearance wearing nothing but an enormous paper donkey dong toe-curlingly hilarious." ~ Sam Marlowe, The Times, 3 April 2015