Review Round Up: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bridge Theatre

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the Bridge Theatre’s latest immersive Shakespeare production.

(c)Manuel Harlan.

WhatsOnStage: *** “The show comes into its own at the end, with the play within a play, which is raucous and full of physical madness. A bit more of this playful, low-fi silliness may have worked better for the show as a whole.”

The Guardian: *** “While Hytner’s production is like a delirious party, I would have enjoyed it still more if it released the microscopic beauties of Shakespeare’s text as well as the play’s comic energy.”

London *** “This makes the aesthetic more like a show out of Emma Rice’s tenure at the Globe, where she staged an irreverent, crowd-pleasing version of Dream in 2016. This production, which has movement direction by Arlene Phillips, comes complete with Beyoncé’s Love on Top played at the end as a giant bouncy ball is flung around the auditorium that reminded me of Slava’s Snowshow.”

Time Out: **** “In the moment, as the whole thing sort of collapses into a massive cast-audience dance party – complete with giant moon balls! – it’s a real wrench to remember we can’t just hide out in these woods for ever.”

The Telegraph: ***** “Nicholas Hytner’s revival – harnessing the immersive and technical potential of his new box of tricks and getting the zestful best from a lithe and energetic ensemble (stage-management included) – exceeds even the high expectations set by his promenade Julius Caesar last year.” ***** “We can’t imagine any other venue being able to stage the theatrical tricks that Hytner does here but the overwhelming sense of fun and mischief about this production makes it London’s must-see theatrical event of the summer.”

Evening Standard: ***** “There are some overblown moments, yet this irreverent interpretation has the atmosphere of a party. It’s best experienced as a groundling in the theatre’s pit, where the sense of mischief spreads like a giant smile.”

There Ought to be Clowns: “More than anything, this feels like a truly contemporary Dream without ever forcing it, highlighting its underlying thoughts about gender just enough, as in the moment when Jermaine Freeman’s Flute draws together his “sisters three” from the noble ladies of the court. Beautifully done.”

The Independent: **** “A gesture of magical grace. I am delighted to give the show a very enthusiastic welcome.”

London Box **** “All-in-all, a wonderful night of crowd pleasing entertainment, which will afford the purists some excruciating toe-curling moments.”

The Times: **** ” am, most of all, having a lot of fun at Nicholas Hytner’s immersive, irreverent, spectacular, slyly feminist, sometimes properly dreamlike staging of Shakespeare’s summer special.”

Radio Times: *** “Not really the play Shakespeare wrote, and something that will leave many people who love this timeless masterpiece simply confused and slightly frustrated.”

British Theatre Guide: “This new version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream may occasionally be a little too adventurous for its own good but overall is visually and aurally exciting as well as moving and funny in equal parts.”

Theatre Cat: “This is a dream of a Dream.  One expected fun from the  combination of Nicholas Hytner,  a roiling mass of promenaders in the pit  and a Bunny Christie design which  makes the most of this fresh big theatre’s technical tricks.”

The Metro: ***** “There are several Midsummers out there this summer. But this one, fabulously performed and inclusive to its marrow, is surely the one to see.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues to play at the Bridge Theatre until the 31st August.

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