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

We round up the reviews for the Shakespeare’s Globe revival of its 2019 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

(c)Tristram Kenton

Time Out: “its cheery maximalism is a blessed relief from the endless diet of minimalism, misery and compromise we’ve been subject to over the last year. Jean Chan‘s costumes are an absolute wonder, the fairies decked out as boggle-eyed, psychedelic aliens who transform Sophie Russell’s thespy Bottom into a retina-searing donkey pinata.”

The Guardian: *** “Love, says Helena, is “said to be a child” and the production is powered by youthful glee. You miss the poignancy and profundity but it’s an escapist treat – and standup George Fouracres is such a delight as the bellowing Flute that you even wish Pyramus and Thisbe lasted a little longer.”

The Upcoming: *** “Although this adaptation somewhat blunts the play, it is nevertheless a joyful event because the Globe and Shakespeare inevitably provoke excitement and provide experiences that are inherently enriching.”

The Stage: **** “Shakespeare’s Globe reopens with Sean Holmes’ rambunctious, uplifting, Mardi Gras-themed production.”

London *** “But while the poetry isn’t made a priority here, there are still moments of loveliness that make you catch your breath. Bourke’s delivery, as Oberon, of the famous speech that begins “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows” is a little oasis of calm in the mayhem, the gorgeous language accompanied by a faint ripple of tinkling chimes.”

Broadway World: **** “At the very end, after the company have erupted into a celebratory dance, five balloons come down on the windows of the upper stage that say DREAM. At that moment, among all the colours and garlands, and after what quite literally felt like a hallucination, it reads as an invitation, a wish, and a genuine hope for a better year.”

The Arts Desk: **** “Most overwhelmingly, though, this is a production that shows that life as we once knew it might be possible again. Jean Chan’s riotous design, all hallucinogenic forest creepers and wild party costumes, is a tonic from the start. We emerge feeling that with just a modicum of caution, we can enjoy love, laughter and music once more. Carnival was always a subversion of the status quo; but here it’s about the liberation of a human spirit that has been scared and constrained for far too long.”

British Theatre Guide: “However, despite following the conventional lines of the script, the production still has no connecting theme or serious engagement with its ideas and that can at times make it feel rather flat.”

iNews: **** “right now, watching the all-singing, all-dancing cast hurtle about the stage, brandishing sparklers and wearing star-adorned deely bopper hairbands, it feels like a much-needed shot of hope and adrenaline after a bleak, sluggish year. Truly, the best kind of reverie.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “That’s the instinct of the entire production, to go for surface humour rather than deeper insight. Yet it seems churlish to complain when the fun is so amiable and real.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues to play until the 30th October. You can also book tickets by clicking here.

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