A Midsummer Night's Dream
Presented in English
Southwark Playhouse, London, UK
May 31 -June 6, 2016
Go People Theatre and Glass Half Full Productions
Directed by Simon Evans
Cast: Lucy Eaton, Freddie Fox, Melanie Fullbrook, Maddy Hill, Ludovic Hughes, Freddie Hutchins, Suzie Preece.
Creative team: Adrian Linford (Design), Jai Morjaria (Lighting), Ed Lewis (Sound), Scott Ellis (Associate Director)
Go People's take on Midsummer was a modern, anarchic, ninety minute Dream with a cast of just seven.
For More Information:
The Stage review (3 stars):
"It’s been done before, and often. A company of actors gallop through a text for which they seem to be woefully ill-equipped, doubling and trebling where necessary, growing increasingly red-faced in their efforts. In this case, a company of seven attempts to present A Midsummer Night’s Dream in under two hours. It’s an uncompromising approach in a number of ways: staged in traverse, the house lights remain up until very near the end, there are no sound cues, and they’ve hacked chunks out of the text."
"Simon Evans’ production is fun enough but where it really needs to crank up the pace, it starts to come apart a bit... There is some amusing audience interaction, and the whole thing feels like a hymn to the power of the imagination. But this kind of exercise needs charm and immaculate timing to carry it along, and they don’t quite have enough of either."
RadioTimes review (3 stars):
“Another week, another “dream.”
This summer we've already had Emma Rice channelling Beyonce and Bowie at the Globe and Russell T Davies’ CGI extravaganza on television. Perhaps the really radical way to do this play would be in doublet and hose.
In the latest stab at offering a different take on Shakespeare’s romantic fantasy, the production company Go People has stripped things back and made everything so totally meta that you begin to feel the original work is quite a tenuous reason for being here. A company of seven people share all seventeen parts for comic effect. Presumably that's also why the running time has been hacked back to little more than ninety minutes."
"It gets a bit chaotic in the final act when every character is supposed to be on stage. The action is so far removed from the text at times that I’m not sure this can be counted as a proper production of the play at all. But it certainly leaves you with a smile on your face."
Exeunt magazine review:
"Wildly hacking Shakespeare to bits for the sake of comedy is nothing new – the Reduced Shakespeare Company have built whole careers out of it – so I admit I came to this one with trepidation. Two hours of flailing, shrieking actors does not a comedy make. One could even call Go People’s interpretation a narcissistic one, using the Rude Mechanical’s play-within-a-play subplot to further turn our attention to the tribulations of ACTING, rather than the play at hand. Having said all this, my reluctant, critical heart was thawed by this production. Joyful from start to finish, the cast attack the text with gusto and distil its most important elements to their purest form: bawdy laughter and impish imagination."
"Be warned: Do not darken the door of the Southwark Playhouse expecting a remotely reverent Dream. We’re told early on that this isn’t a production for purists, and why should it be? The play exists, and even thrives in this imagining... Shorn of the fairy lights and flower crowns, the stilted poetry and subdued magic of traditional productions, one feels that this balls-to-the-wall, slapdash, rude and brutish go at the play would have been right at home in the Bard’s own lifetime. This particular Dream is mischief personified, precisely as Shakespeare would have wanted."
Photos: #7 Actor Dream