A Midsummer Night's Dream @ Wickham Theatre, ★★★★


By Immy Howse, second year English

Tackling one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays is no easy feat – but the InterAct Festival’s cast and crew seamlessly revitalise A Midsummer Night’s Dream at UoB's Wickham Theatre.

InterAct Festival's A Midsummer Night's Dream provides a magical ambience on arrival with the cast – already in character – conversing with the audience whilst ushering them into the production’s first scene. The energy of the performance is impressive from the outset, invigorating the audience despite the dark and cramped staging of Act One - set in Athens. The set perhaps has some of the audience questioning how Shakespeare’s fantastical forest will be brought to life in the later scenes, but all becomes clear when, before the transition into Act Two, the cast once again leads the audience to a new stage with the glitter, colour and vibrancy expected of the famous forest.

This is where the production really takes off.

InterAct Festival / Amy Iles

The passionate, emotive and yet still comedic performances of the four protagonists weave seamlessly with the scenes of the absurd and cleverly modernised ‘Mechanicals’, as the cast and crew retain the charm, humour and absurdity of Shakespeare's play. Wyn Turner’s knavish but charming Puck acts as the glue holding the series of entertaining antics together, while Adam Hashmi’s endearing Lysander captures the audience’s hearts from the beginning, alongside Kira Treveil’s vivacious and sometimes improvised performance as Bottom which prompts hysterics throughout.

While the performance saw a few mishaps, the overall play is slick and professional. The lighting is particularly impressive, and recognition must also go to the costume designers whose work fit perfectly with the set design.

✨ Hark now, attend and mark! ✨

The 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' trailer has been released! Catch it on 28th, 29th and 30th March in the Wickham Theatre. Get your tickets here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/306789?fbclid=IwAR0q8yjJGBS_skZLqX17CQwW-VWtWZEnvcxSqtJmAYATRxp3wZX0lqQqzqY

Posted by InterAct Bristol on Sunday, March 24, 2019

The delight of the cast and crew is infectious; there’s not an audience member in sight without a smile on their face!

After an exhilarating adventure of mystical mayhem, lovers’ spats, hilarious ‘rehearsals’ and magical transformations, the play comes full circle as we return once again to the intimate staging of the first act. Director, Amy Iles, outlined in the play’s programme that she wanted to see what she could do with the space provided in the unique Wickham Theatre. It’s safe to say that her original and interactive staging was a resounding success!

The last scenes of the play drag a little - although Carey Chomsoonthorn as Theseus is particularly entertaining during these moments - and it may have been interesting to see something more innovative done with the storyline, but by this point the audience is so enamoured by the characters and cast that it doesn’t really matter.

As the play comes to its close, the delight of the cast and crew is infectious; there’s not an audience member in sight without a smile on their face! Ultimately, it’s a charming and eccentric adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and well worth the watch.

InterAct Festival's A Midsummer Night's Dream runs 28-30th March at UoB's Wickham Theatre.

InterAct Festival / Amy Iles


(Featured image credits: Facebook / InterAct Festival)

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