Defying and literally crashing through the fourth wall, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, currently at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, is uproariously funny and will rock your Shakespearean world. With the promise of ‘meta-fiction’, celebrity guests and pixiness, you will not be disappointed, apart from the absence of said celebrities.
This classic tale of young lovers and warring fairies is given a unique and irreverent twist, in The Lyric and Filter’s riotous reinterpretation of one of Shakespeare’s best loved plays. A comedy in its original conception, many adaptations fail to capture the comedic strife of the leading lovers. Portraying the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, whilst following the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (The Mechanicals), the fairies take us to the ethereal world. Inhabiting the forest in which most of the play is set, they control and manipulate their unsuspecting protagonists into salacious interactions.
Beginning with a stand up routine and an offer of an early release from an evening of dry, “boring” Shakespeare, you are forced into the world of abandoned classicism and relieved with welcome playfulness. I have never seen A Midsummer done with such conviction, never doubting the world of the play. All the improvisation an extension of The Mechanicals leading us through the action. Performing live music and recruiting a new member to be the leading ‘Bottom’, the laughs just keep erupting.
Falling through the stage, flying through the air and squirting his juice all over ensuing lovers, Oberon the superhero fairy has the audience in hysterics. Titania is a rock goddess and Puck is casually formidable. I congratulate Filter and The Lyric for their diverse casting, something which is evidently questionable in our industry, but utterly achieved in this production. I leave the theatre only wanting one thing… to be part of this touring cast and to join in the fun! 4/5
Written by Megan Mattravers.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is currently showing until Saturday 9th June 2018 at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…