A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Review

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Rice takes considerable care to preserve the true wonder of Shakespeare whilst introducing modernity to the play. An example is a reference to Beyonce, ensuring laughter from all. Whilst such moments seem to encourage more mirth in terms of numbers, the original wit of Shakespeare shines through.

Importantly, the play is accessible to all. The simple running gag of one of the clumsy mechanicals who gets their finger stuck is the best example. Whilst some may struggle with the denser, more intricate of Shakespeare’s language, Rice’s production offers a port in a storm for those out of their depth.

Modernity is all. After all, why bother to see a rehash of the same dusty, conservative, traditional performance? Rice brushes away the cobwebs of The Globe and instead hangs inflatables that play in the modern lighting. The spells of Oberon and Puck drown The Globe in dark red, whilst the very sound almost shakes you out of the reverie of the play.

The breaking of the fourth wall is especially enjoyable whether it is the hilarious to watch, awkward to experience interactions of Puck or the whispered jokes that only the nearest groundlings can hear.

Changing Helena to Helenus was another stroke of modernity and genius. Not only does it get with modern times, it helps explain the motives of the characters better. His camp, finger-flicking action is amusing, whilst the battle over his hand between Lysander and Demetrius is outright hilarity.

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