Home » London Theatre Reviews » A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Theatro Technis | Review

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Theatro Technis | Review

Michael CLAFF as OBERON
Michael CLAFF as OBERON

I suppose, when you think about it, much of A Midsummer Night’s Dream could be mistaken for a drug-fuelled hallucination, and setting this production in the context of a modern musical festival certainly added weight to this idea – everything from the incessant giggling of the four lovers to the character ‘Hungover Fairy’ (I’m pretty sure she didn’t appear in the original text) the whole thing screams of hedonism, and, in places, this setting worked. It perhaps didn’t add anything to the play, and even in places served to distract from the actual text, but it didn’t seem wrong or out of place like so many modern adaptations do.

There was some strong acting throughout. Dorian Hasani’s portrayal of a giddy Lysander as his affections switched from Hermia to Helena and back again, and Demetrius (played by John Celea), on waking to find himself in love with Helena, elicited some of the biggest laughs of the show through their comic performances. However, the star of the show for me was Andre Pinto, playing Snout playing a wall in the play within a play, Pyramus and Thisbe. The body language and facial expressions captured Snout perfectly, and this for me was the highlight of the show. In fact, the whole cast of Pyramus and Thisbe were excellent, executing the comedy to perfection and ending the show on a real high.

For me though, what was often missing was the rhythm of the speech. The words would be rushed, or not said in rhythm, which made understanding the show much more difficult. There’s been a lot of research into how to say Shakespeare’s work, a lot of debate about where emphasis should be placed in order to give the ‘correct’ meaning, but there seems to be agreement that emphasis somewhere is important, that the pauses and the timings are really what gives meaning to the words. Without these, it felt, at points, like I was watching a play in a foreign language of which I could only speak a little – enough to understand the gist, but not enough to get the nuance. Had I not already known the story so well, I may have missed some of the key points because in my head I was having to actively think about what was happening. A further consequence of this is that some of the innate comedy that comes from Shakespeare’s writing was lost.

That said, the strapline of this production is ‘Shakespeare for a Camden audience’ and I think it succeeds in what it sets out to do – setting it in a modern context with modern music, not to mention shortening it considerably, brings a relevance to the play which is only supported by an international cast who reflect the diversity of modern London.

3 Star Review

Review by Emily Diver

‘Shakespeare for a Camden Audience’
Adapted and directed by Gavin McAlinden and set in modern music festival culture; this is a radical reimagining of Shakespeare’s tale of youth, love, sex, drugs, music, mistaken identity and bad trips!!

‘Shakespeare for a Camden Audience’

Adapted and directed by Gavin McAlinden and set in modern music festival culture; this is a radical reimagining of Shakespeare’s 
tale of youth, love, sex, drugs, music, mistaken identity and bad trips!!
 
Theseus – Alan Kenny
Hippolyta – Imene Menad
Puck – Max Easton

Oberon – Michael Claff

Titania – Lisa Kinshuck
Lysander – Dorian Hasani
Demetrius – John Celea
Hermia – Emma Von Schreiber
Helena – Nathalie Prange
Bottom – Thomas Witcomb
Quince – Robert Mclanachan 
Flute – Sunil Patel
Snug – Andre Pino
Snout – Alex Maude
Starvling – Irfan Shirwani
Hungover fairy – Maria Gergova
Love-in-idleness – Mirela Petrova
Fairy – Jo Stones
Fairy – Lina Cherrat 
Fairy – Melanie Lam Cam Kee

Playing in Rep with The Seagull and The Misanthrope
Theatro Technis, 26 Crowndale Rd, NW1 1TT

Author

  • Emily Gami

    I am a 25 year old Geography teacher who really loves the theatre. I first fell in love with the theatre when I was 15 and since moving to London 4 years ago I have tried to see as many shows as possible. On the rare occasions I am not at work or at the theatre I can usually be found on a tennis court or curled up somewhere with a good book

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