Review Round Up: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s Globe

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for this new production of Shakespeare’s comedy directed by Sean Holmes.

(c)Tristram Kenton.

WhatsOnStage: **** “Forget Love Island, if you want a romantic romp in the sunshine then this is a midsummer treat and no mistake.”

Evening Standard: *** “Holmes’s vision is not in doubt and a receptive audience was excited by the boisterousness of it all but I do worry about how much subtlety is sacrificed for this. The various elements, so deliciously strange, of this deceptively delicate play look simply bizarre when lined up next to each other here.”

British *** “Whilst the production’s overall effect is nicely achieved, a number of touches didn’t quite work for me. The cast rotating as Puck – sometimes with each line – was intriguing without offering insight, and did not fully exploit the comic opportunities it afforded.”

Time Out: *** “When ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is trotted out so regularly – in London alone, there are three big ones on this summer – you can see why a director would want to make their version memorable. And if there’s one thing for certain to say about Sean Holmes’s production at the Globe, it’s that it definitely doesn’t fade into the background.”

Exeunt Magazine: “I do wonder how non-traditional you can really make this one. This production doesn’t feel edgy for the sake of it, or even new in all its choices, but still. Chances are, Dream might be the Shakespeare you’ve seen the most (like me), in which case the prospect of having to laugh at its jokes again – the ones which tend to be emphasised to convince young people, especially, that Shakespeare is fun! – feels like a bit of an undertaking.”

The Upcoming: **** “The Globe’s laid-back version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream may have quite a lot of traditionalists turn up their nose for its subversion of standard theatre. But it’s a reinvigorating pageant, celebrating the foolishness and creativity of storytelling. It’s laughter without rambling: an apt example of midsummer entertainment.”

A Younger Theatre: ***** “Overall A Midsummer Night’s Dream is an enchanting show, from the magical costume and set design, to its exquisite cast. It strikes the perfect balance, never slipping into the cringiness of a pantomime, and yet keeping things so light and laugh out loud funny that we can’t help but pause in wonder at the poetry that is delivered with such ease.”

The Stage: **** “Sean Holmes’ inventive and colourful production is a heady summer treat.”

British Theatre Guide: “There is a blaze of colourful costumes, knockabout comedy, jazz music and a volunteer cyclist from the audience in A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Sean Holmes. But there is no connecting theme or serious engagement with the social ideas in the play.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues to play at the Shakespeare’s Globe until the 13th October.

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