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A Dream you'll definitely remember at the Exchange
ITS Shakespeare Will, but not as we know it.
Anyone who thinks they know A Midsummer Night’s Dream backwards is in for one hell of a surprise/shock if they visit the Royal Exchange Theatre.
This visiting production, a collaboration between the Lyric Hammersmith and Filter Theatre, is very fast paced, very physical and very “in your face.”
I was also really impressed by the company’s use of sound, used to signify both the entrance of the mischievious sprite Puck and Bottom’s transformation into an ass quite brilliantly.
There are some nice surprises in the production which I’m not going to divulge here and if you’re looking to introduce older children to Shakespeare, this is the perfect way to do it.
The Bard’s own words sit very comfortably alongside some witty, modern references in this play within a play. Perhaps the purists might not like it but it says something about the brilliance of the writing that a play written several hundred years ago is so easy to adapt.
Performances are very intense and full on in this unorthodox supernatural tale and I particular liked Jonathan Broadbent’s Austin Powers like Oberon, John Lightbody’s likeable Lysander and Ed Gaughan as Peter Quince, with his agreeable Irish brogue.
My only criticism is that there were one or two occasions when the action was noisy enough to drown out some of the dialogue, but that aside, this is a production that re-defines the word different. Have fun.
* Until August 4. The box office is on 0161 833 9833. Star rating - ****