6 to 20 May 2006

Midsummer

A Midsummer Night's Dream

by William Shakespeare

directed by Carl Boardman

Take a fresh look at a familiar text, suspend the usual assumptions about the characters and plot, and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is revealed as an intensely political play. The dynastic marital machinations of Duke Theseus and Queen Hippolyta, are disrupted by the refusal of his courtier’s daughter, Hermia, to marry as required. Hermia and her lover, Lysander, flee to the ‘freedom’ of the forest where the order of the Athenian court is distorted into chaos by the jealous squabbling of Oberon and Titania, with their feral pack of fairies. As usual, the poor Athenian workers, ‘the mechanicals’, are caught in the middle.

Not at all the light, tinkly confection we thought we knew, New Venture utilise their flexible Studio to produce a promenade production which surrounds the audience in the playing out of very dark themes of desire, instability, manipulation and sacrifice.

Review