Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Heartwarming Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It)

As part of the World Shakespeare Festival, the RSC has commissioned a Russian production from the Chekhov International Festival entitled Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It) to perform for one week only in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. The title is a bit deceptive, neither following the narratives of Midsummer or As You Like It. Instead, the story revolves around a play within a play—The Mechanicals staging Pyramus and Thisbe.  "As You Like It" does not refer to Shakespeare's comedy, but the willingness of the audience to indulge themselves in the play - "We hope you like it..."

The production is touching, charming, and enjoyable. There is very little dialog to contend which, hardly any of which is Shakespeare save for a sonnet or two.
To begin, a slew of actors appeared loading the set, complete with a grandiose plastic tree and working water fountain. Hijinks insure as the actors attempt to hall the set pieces through the audience, slapping ticket-holders with branches and spouting water all the way.

A well-dressed “audience” enters and are taken to their seats on either side of the stage, interjecting with rude , though comical, commentary. An actor informs the audience that the play is under-rehearsed, though we will probably not know the difference since we have nothing to compare it to. Indeed, much of the comedy resided in the play going slightly wrong at times – yet everything about this play is exactly right. The ensemble of actors are funny and talented, joking around with deadpan faces and preforming acrobatics. The play comments on itself by including the audience in the jest. Dmitry Krymov (director) delivers it all –What could be better than two giant puppets and a dancing dog?

Read more reviews at:
Year of Shakespeare
The Stage

No comments:

Post a Comment