Extra special bonus feature time, readers! I went to see the Citadel Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream last night (with my good friend, Argenplath, whose blog you should definitely check out) so now you get the benefit of a review (please note, all production photos are from the Citadel’s website). If the plot of the play is a little fuzzy for you, you can refresh your memory with my previous post about it.
From the moment I walked into the Maclab Theatre, I knew I was going to love the play. The set design is absolutely gorgeous and sets the stage (sorry for the bad puns, I couldn’t help it) for all of the magic. It really allows for flexibility which gives the fairies and elves the opportunity to really appear and disappear as quickly as you would expect of such creatures.
The actors all do a brilliant job. My favourite characters were all played really well and Julien Arnold as Bottom really knocked it out of the park. Also, the small kid playing the Indian changeling boy is absolutely adorable. Before talking about some of the highlights of the play for me, I just want to mention the costumes briefly. They are gorgeous. All the upper-class Athenians have very Greek dresses and tunics, which take definite advantage of how muscular/pretty the entire cast is. The costumes for Oberon and Titania also take full advantage of how good-looking those two are, although they’re far more scantily clad which makes their roles as natural fairy creatures all the more believable. And amazingly, Oberon really manages to rock his headdress. Being my favourite character, I was pleased with Puck’s costume as well. Of course, some of that may have something to do with his being topless the entire play.
I’m going to attempt to avoid any production spoilers as there are some details that are far more fun if you’re surprised by them, but I will just mention some of my personal highlights. Despite the fact that she’s a total doormat (“Let me be your spaniel”? REALLY? I feel like she could go for a dose of Sassy Gay Friend), I’ve always been really fond of Helena and I was very pleased with Shannon Taylor’s portrayal who made her a very likable character despite her slightly embarrasssing level of infatuation with Demetrius. In fact, all four actors playing the young lovers very brilliantly portrayed all of the mad confusion that results from Puck and Oberon’s interference, with the scene in which all four of them get into a tussle being very impressive.
As I’ve mentioned before, Puck is one of my favourite characters and Jonathan Purvis very brilliantly brings him to life. He is sweet and charming and his athletic ability is just fantastic to watch. His gymnastic antics are very impressive and I thoroughly enjoyed watching him frolic across the stage.
However, the greatest moment in the entire play is Bottom and company’s play about Pyramus and Thisbe. The group of men that put together this ridiculous production are just fantastic, fun to watch, and left the entire theatre, myself included, laughing uproariously. I won’t spoil all the delights of their slapstick, but I will give you the head’s up to keep an eye on Moonshine’s dog if you get a chance to see the production.
Of course, Puck’s final speech is utterly charming and you’ll definitely be left wanting to accept his offer of friendship. If you have the chance, I highly encourage you to check out this production which runs until 29 April 2012.