Directed by Laurence Boswell this is a visually splendid production. Designed by Jamie Vartan accompanied by an ethereal lighting design by Colin Grenfell it is a truly sensory and sensual dream that is on offer at the Theatre Royal as part of the Summer Season.
This is one of the most widely known and frequently studied plays of Shakespeare. On one extraordinary night in the middle of summer the world turns upside down as fairies cause chaos, four young lovers fall in and out of love, and Bottom and friends rehearse a play in celebration of a royal wedding.
Here Boswell has assembled a great company. The women triumph led by an outstanding Katy Stephens (Titania / Hippolyta) who in the forest enjoys an intoxicating freedom. The young lovers Maya Wasowicz (Helena,) Eve Posonbury (Hermia,) alongside William Postlethwaite (Lysander) and Wilf Scolding (Demetrius) provide much humour. The purposeful direction and extraordinary movement from Gary Sefton allows for visual struggles and fight sequences that are quite breathtaking whilst the mechanicals are huge fun with their dynamics.
This is a production that clearly leans to the comedy of the piece. There is not a breath or beat out of place whilst the original music from Jon Nicholls provides great atmosphere and a glorious soundscape to accompany this mesmerising dream.
There are a few opportunities left to catch this production and whether it is a set text or a new experience it is well worth a captivating trip to the woods.
**** – 4 Stars