MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
A Midsummer Night’s Dream really is a dream of a play and director Edward Hall does it proud, in a most engaging and entertaining production.
This is trademark Propeller, combining spot-on physical playing with crystal-clear delivery of the text. Titania’s speech about, well, climate change sets the standard - beautifully delivered in a stand-out performance from James Tucker. Joseph Chance is a striking Robin Goodfellow, a sprite with a sharp edge.
Matthew McPherson, Arthur Wilson, Richard Pepper and Dan Wheeler are all excellent as the four lovers, for whom “the course of true love never did run smooth.”
The sparring scene between the “little and low” Hermia and “painted maypole” Helena is wonderful knockabout stuff, and had the audience cheering and clapping. And there is splendid slapstick from an outstanding Bottom (Chris Myles) and a shop steward Quince (David Acton) plus Flute, Snout. Snug and co. On the debit side, it’s a bit lacking in magic, and Michael Pavelka’s design is perplexing.
Money, sex and jealousy are three of the main causes of marriage fractures. In writer and director Gary Brashier’s debut play, these powerful forces are truly centre stage.
The troubled marriage of emotionally damaged, high flying media type Helen is further rocked when she moves to London with her man of the earth, tree-surgeon husband Julian.
When Helen invites her new boss, Myles, to dinner the inevitable emotional hand grenade goes off.
Deliciously played with great timing by Chris Scott, Myles is a manipulative and truly odious character who also turns the heart of Helen’s work colleague, cannily played by Canan Cahit as Julian. Tom Farthing’s moods and emotions are often terrifying as he alternates between rage and love.
Lucy Wilkins as Helen is excellent with some great heart-wrenching scenes, Woodcut is a very promising debut by Gary Brashier