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Armchair Reviewers - Round up of Week 13 (A Midsummer Night's Dream)

Hello, it’s time for another week of Armchair Reviewers! This week’s production was A Midsummer Night’s Dream from the London Theatre Company, performed at The Bridge Theatre and originally streamed as part of the National Theatre Live programme in 2019.

Shakespeare’s classic woodland comedy starring young lovers and mischievous fairies feels like a frolicking fiesta of fun in Nicholas Hytner’s production, more akin to a night at Coachella than at Shakespearean theatre. With gender-bending, aerial circus tricks, Beyoncé tracks and more, this is a high-energy, laugh-out-loud production that will delight Midsummer fans old and new.

Let’s see what our reviewers had to say…

Had Shakespeare lived another 400 years he would have rewritten some of his lines. Definitely. After all, he invented so many swear words himself. And surely he would let his acrobats use every high-wire available. Hytner simply took up where Shakespeare left off. Gloriously so, in this showcase of the talents of the Bridge Theatre’s design, as well as his cast and stage crew.

For the promenade audience the atmosphere must have been a tremendous experience - and no less so to watch all that joy on screen at home. The way Puck fought through his fans to get on and off stage and how those in the front row were almost ON the stage, it was so small at times. No wonder the actors had to learn to fly in on wires and bedsteads. Magic for us all.

These things I loved …. The transition of Hippolyta and Theseus, through Oberon and Titania and back to their reformed courtly selves. Oberon and Bottom in the bath - and everything else with the Rude Mechanicals. The lovers, especially the girls and their cat-fighting. Puck; so naughty, and forever Sheffield. All of it, in fact.
- Alison via email

Thanks for that Alison! Here’s what another reviewer thought….

Director Nicholas Hytner’s hugely impressive adaptation of  William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is visually stunning. From the first scene to the last monologue it is a joy to behold. The Bridge Theatre has been transformed into a living forest with characters bursting out of every corner.

The immersive nature of the production really lends itself to be filmed as we follow the actors and the audience around the auditorium as we discover more of the extraordinary world that has been created.

‘The course of true love never did run smooth’ but it is triumphantly told in this beautiful production
. – Marcus via email

Thank you so much for all of your contributions to this week’s round-up. For next week, we’ll be looking at Girls Like That - a Synergy Theatre project available here.

As always make sure to share your thoughts, either via social media or by e-mailing [email protected]

Take Care Reviewers!

Rebecca Smith

Early Years and Education Officer