Arts Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream @ Cottiers Theatre, 11th & 12th of March 2020, Dir. Eve Miller and Asst Dir. Eve Grant

Cottiers Theatre was transformed by the Glasgow University Shakespeare Society for their production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. A classic work of Shakespeare was revamped by directors Eve Miller and Assistant Director Eve Grant who cleverly created a collision of 3 worlds in the play. The ‘players’ were reimagined to be in the golden age of Hollywood, the ‘Athenians’ had Breakfast Club vibes and we fell into a drug induced psychedelia with the ‘fairies’.

While seeming bizarre at first, the worlds intertwined smoothly throughout the performance and the mixing of aesthetics was very interesting visually. The props and costume were exceptionally well done in this regard as we could clearly tell which group each character belonged to which made it easier to follow the complicated plot. ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ is my favourite Shakespeare and I was slightly anxious it could become convoluted and confusing when produced by student theatre. However, this production didn’t let me down. It was done in an incredibly professional and exciting new way that made me totally fall back in love with Shakespeare’s timeless play. This was down to the fabulously directed and acted comedy which allowed us to identify with the characters. The standout performance from Sarah Montgomery as Helena conveyed the comedic longing and yearning of a high school crush perfectly. Also, Joshua Urquhart captured the humorous arrogance but also anxiety of Bottom. As well as this I absolutely loved the gender switch of Theseus as we seen Dominika Jarzynska play this character as a strong queer woman.

The play wasn’t perfect and at some points words were garbled and plot points were slightly lost which is hard to avoid in a retelling of a Shakespeare. However, it didn’t need to be perfect because it had heart. It was incredibly fun to watch and buzzed with energy throughout the entire performance. The use of different time periods helped to rejuvenate the dialogue and add humour and wit throughout the production. I commend the entire cast and crew for taking on such a complex and difficult play and completely filling it with life. What a fabulous and refreshing experience! I am excited to see more theatre from the Shakespeare Society and the duo of Eve’s in the future!

4 stars out of 5

[Zara Grew, she/her, @zara_grew]

[Photo Credit: Zara Grew]

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