Dir. Chloe Turner, The Art School, 23rd-25th March 2015
It is difficult to believe that this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been created entirely as your by students – the strength of the talent and professionalism defies all expectations of your humble student production. As the play opens with a solo ballet dance, en pointe, by a fairy with wildly glittery face make up, the audience prepare themselves for a very new take on the classic play.
Director Chloe Turner has taken a familiar script and made it fresh, funny and relevant – this vivacious production truly sparkles with wit and verve. The jokes, the punchlines and the plot may be centuries old, but she has found ways to make the audience laugh as if they are totally new. Several innovative adjustments have been made which really enhance the play – such as having the mischievous fairy Puck played by two actors, giving a double hit impishness. The addition of song and dance to the performance also really brings the traditional play to life.
The actors are to be highly commended for their seemingly never ending energy and enthusiasm. The Mechanicals are tear-inducingly hilarious – special mention to Katie Edge for her adorable performance of Snug the joiner playing the timid lion. Miranda Langley gives a poised and elegant portrayal of Titania, Queen of the Fairies, strongly supported by her talented fairy crew. In particular, Rebecca Smith is to commended for her ballet performance at the very opening of the show, and the two Pucks, played by Imogen Craven and Ella Bendall for their energetic, synchronised portrayal. Back in the land of the mortals, the acting talent is likewise fabulous, and the actors give animated and spirited bounciness to Shakespeare’s lines. Their apparently boundless energy and the dialogue and their timing is spot on, ensuring the play never becomes stilted or boring, as is often the pitfall with amateur Shakespeare productions.
Overall, a wonderful evening of fun, sparkles and wisdom – it may be the 21st century but in this comedy of love’s blindness, these talented Glasgow students remind us that Shakespeare’s old adage,“The course of true love never did run smooth” is as true today as it ever was.