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Midsummer Night's Dream - A Dreamy Romp in Stratford

Monday, 25 August 2014 10:49

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the most popular and often produced plays in William Shakespeare’s repertoire. The draw of the play just might have something to do with the fact that we are all suckers for love. And love swirls about in all its riotous, emotional and confused glory in this production.

This year Stratford offers up not one but two versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One, a chamber piece, the other the full monty, performed on the main theatre stage.

Dream has always been the kind of play that is ripe for all sorts of out of the box productions. Directors have taken the play and set it in different time periods, with puppets, in odd costumes – this particular production drags the Dream into 2014 by playing with traditional gender roles. 

The play opens at a wedding, but in this case the wedding is a same-sex wedding. That little twist sets the table for the casting of Evan Duliung in the role of Titania the Fairy Queen (in a long flowing strapless gown) and Tara Rosling taking on the traditionally male role of Lysander, the love interest of Hermia(Bethany Jillard) who is betrothed to Demetrius (Mike Shara). 

As the plays director Chris Abrahams, points out, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is really about our right to choose who we love.

The production has faced some push back with a few patrons expressing their displeasure through walk-outs or threats of cancelling subscriptions, but overall audiences have taken the production in stride.

But, is it any good?

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a joyfully exuberant production with energy to spare. It turns out that you’ll need that because the play does clock in at 3 hrs.

The addition of children to the cast as well as an adorable Bruno Mars number, and some excellent tap dancing from the woodland fairies, keeps the Dream humming along.

Grab a date and a little good humour and allow yourself to fall into A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

A Midsummer Night's Dream runs at the Stratford Festival until October 10. For tickets and more information, CLICK HERE.


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