A Midsummer Night's Dream
Hayman Theatre - Curtin University
Review: Gordon Johnston
Jos Fitton's outstanding poster promised so much, but would satisfaction be forthcoming?
Wow! It worked like a 'Dream' from beginning to end with no weak links. The opening, with its superb lighting (Andrew Tweedie), set (Luci Steinhardt), sound (Jess O'Gorman), music (no programme credit?), and cast of 'thousands' made one expect, because of a similar recent production, an immanent collapse of atmosphere. Surely the play couldn't continue at this pace, but to a great extent it did!
Everyone spoke with clear diction and at a speed that allowed the audience to understand the meaning behind Shakespeare's script. On the odd occasion, one of the cast got a little excited and could learn from Theseus's comment 'find time to rest', slow down.
Having seen this play at least a dozen times over the years, it was good to observe that the fairies were not the hackneyed beautiful winged creatures, but the troublesome forest sprites and imps that were intended. The battle between them whilst Oberon and Titania were arguing was brilliant. There were no 'chorus hangers-on' of the type that sit stage struck and do nothing. EVERYONE was involved, clever movement, chatterings and the atmosphere was brilliant.
The imaginative range of costumes (Amelia D'Orsogna) was not only appropriate for the characters, from Titania to Hippolyta but showed their status too. Well done.
Special congratulations to Puck (Veronica Mistry) who was truly impish. She had tremendous drive and used her body to the full, both in delivering her lines and acrobatically covering the stage. Hermia (Andrea Demetriades) covered all the emotions and was truly in love!
Then there was Bottom (Jez Obern) and Flute (Josh Price) in parts that it are hard to fail on, but which when played exceedingly well as did the whole 'play within the play' cast the result was truly hilarious. Titania (Sara Green) and Quince (Sam Young) captured their characters especially well.......
.......Boris Radmilovich, the director and his assistant, Jodie Passmore, are to be congratulated on one of the best interpretations of a classic that I have seen in some time.
A large cast is often difficult to handle, so congratulations to Anna Dymitr Hawkes and her team for the stage management.
The look on Boris's daughter's face when Bottom's illuminated implement hit the floor was priceless.
Many thanks to you all for a really great night out.