A dream night was had at The Courtyard Theatre where The Rose Bridge Theatre Company presented their version of a play, set in the year of 1958, which was first performed in 1595.
As we (the audience) entered the auditorium the cast were casually socialising on what I interpreted to be a village green. As we sat all around in a voyeuristic way a young couple were canoodling on the grass whilst others were making small talk.
The band struck up a rock ‘n’ roll number and the people on the village green happily jived away with a piece very well choreographed by Alyssa Noble.
I have had the pleasure of seeing and reviewing A Midsummer Night’s Dream on other occasions, and even though the plot and the dialogue was the same (why would we want to change it?) I have never seen it presented in such a simple but creative and pleasingly effective way before.
The cast of thirteen were absolutely delightful, and had us endearing to every single one of them as they played their parts faultlessly. If I tried I could not pick out a weak link amongst them. Although I did feel that the performance from Naomi Bullock as Helena was exceptional. Her facial expressions, her delivery and her comic timing were second to none, and supplied us with the comical laugh-out-loud moments of the production.
The energy and the anger shown by Alyssa Noble as the love scorned Hernia was amusing and had me reaching for my inhaler, she may be less than five feet tall but I would not want to get on the wrong side of her!
I really enjoyed the mischievous Puck, who I last saw portrayed as a modern day train-spotter. But in Adam Morris’s version, Puck was portrayed in the most glamorous way of a garden fairy, by the extremely talented Natalie Lipin.
I have not mentioned the storyline as most of us are familiar with it. And whether or not you are a fan of Shakespeare I would highly recommend you get along to the Courtyard Theatre to witness the Rose Bridge Theatre Company’s version of this timeless classic.
Review by Johnny Tait
Rose Bridge Theatre Company presents A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM By William Shakespeare. Directed by Adam Morris, from 19th August to 7th September 2014, at The Courtyard Theatre
Summer 1958 – an English country village – A magical mix of folk and morris, rock n’roll and jive, enchantment and mayhem.
Lord and Lady of the Manor, Theseus and Hippolyta, are celebrating with the local Village Am Dram Society, headed by one Mr Bottom, who are preparing their latest theatrical piece. Having had enough of cucumber sandwiches and tea dances, young sweethearts, Hermia and Lysander, steal away to the forest, closely pursued by their admirers, Helena and Demetrius. Their adventure is closely watched by the forest’s mystical inhabitants; Oberon, Titania, and their band of fairies, who use their powers for good and ill, resulting in an enchanted night of magic, misconception, and mischief.
Featuring live music from a team of actor musicians, Rose Bridge Theatre company transports one of Shakespeare’s most popular works to the age of rock n roll age, an age when youth shakes off the shackles of post war austerity, when music shouts loud and anything seems possible.
Puck: Natalie Lipin
Oberon/Theseus: Danny Solomon
Titania/Hippolyta: Stephanie Hampton
Cobweb: Samanthat Clark
Peaseblossom/Snug: Lara Frances
Egeus/Snout: Robert Rowe
Quince: Rachel Dobell
Flute: Anthony Pinnick
Bottom: Tim Skelton
Lysander: Benedict Chambers
Demetrius: Henry Wyrley-Birch
Helena: Naomi Bullock
Hermia: Alyssa Noble
Director: Adam Morris
Assistant Director: Amelia Clay
Producer: Stephanie Hampton
Choreographer: Alyssa Noble
Set and Costume: Ele Slade
Costume Assistant: Kitty Power
Lighting Designer: Tom Kitney
The Courtyard Bowling Green Walk
40 Pitfield Street N1 6EU
August 19th to September 7th 2014
Tickets: £15 (£12 concs)