An intriguing production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream closed last night at the Royal Shakespeare Company. The play began in a mod warehouse, with a cleverly laid out a plan for Hippolyta and Theseus to transform into Oberon and Titania. Jo Stone-Fewings and Pippa Nixon work beautifully together. The mechanicals appeared as maintenance workers in a dismal world of the 60's underground.
Bottom the Weaver, played by Marc Wootton, had his comic moments of inspiration - Although not always straying far from the typical nonsense of the mechanicals. This proved a little bit of a let-down in the final play-within-a-play, which proved funny but incessant.
The faeries were a bit tedious, and Hermia not-so-lovable. But, all was saved by Lucy Briggs-Owen as Helena, rightfully making her RSC debut. Her Helena appeared beautiful, yet somewhat ill-witted. Her clever and original depiction proved most comical and heartfelt. Although she worked against the verse at times, her Helena seemed more truly felt then any other character in the play.