REVIEW | A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

You Are Definitely in for a Treat!

Reviewed by Karina Lawrence

Stepping into the enchanted world was certainly felt the moment you enter the Centennial Parklands as you emerge in nature with the performance being held out doors, under the stars, at the Belvedere Amphitheatre.

The stage setting was stunning and you felt instantly energised and excited to be sharing the surroundings, with the anticipation of what was to come.

The stage was draped in green vine like structures that created a majestic atmosphere right from the start. The lighting and surrounding city buildings in the background only added to the literally WOW factor, as you really took in the special sentiments of where this beautiful production of A Midnight Summers Dream was about to take place.

With bar and food facilities and bathroom set ups you made your way down across the grass to the amphitheatre where you have a choice to bring your own picnic rug and hamper or to select the comfort of low chair seating, to enjoy the performance.

The event is beautifully executed by the Australian Shakespeare Company which has already celebrated 35 years in the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne.

You are definitely in for a treat!

Directed by Glenn Elston the production is joyous and dramatic and just beautifully presented!

The staging and lighting, sound and costumes superbly put together, particularly when you take into consideration of being outdoors. It’s just brilliant to experience.

It was entertaining and captivating right from the start as you appreciate the beautiful language of William Shakespeare bought to life just perfectly from all involved in this production.

The cast are all so richly talented and display that famous and needed ‘triple threat’ talent, as they embody their characters with such commitment and dedication, some brilliant humour and great athletic energy, all while captivating the audience.

The performance is just perfectly timed with well orchestrated sound and clarity of characteristics. The talent clearly executed from the cast with their delivery is superb.

The voice of Hugh Sexton whom plays Oberon/Theseus transforms you as if you are back in that Shakespearean era full of drama and playfulness. The cast are dedicated and committed offering such delight as they take us on this modern twist of this 400 year old play.

Larissa Teale who plays Helena/Cobweb is infectious to watch along with all her cast mates that are so deserving of a mention. Nicole Nabout playing Titania/Hippolyta, Tane Williams Accra playing Demetrius/Robin Starveling are tremendous.

Definite standout performances are from Elizabeth Brennan who plays Bottom and Madeline Somers playing Peter Quince/Mustardseed with their commitment and humour and captivating energy.

Alex Cooper who plays Lysander/Tom Snout and Olivia McLeod playing Hermia/Fairy along with Johnathon Freeman playing Puck/Philostrate capture the audience as they emerge themselves in their variety of characters again showcasing the multi facets of this company.

The strength and charisma of these characters showcasing such dedication and professionalism to their roles as you watch and felt drawn in, while being transformed into the special worlds these majestic characters create.

Jackson McGovern playing Francis Flute, Fletcher O’Leary playing Peaseblossom, Ashleigh Hermann playing Moth, Cameron Shook playing Puck’s Assistant and Henny Walters playing Snug/Fairy are equally exquisite in their roles.

Now the scenes we experienced were beautifully staged and bought to life with the wonderful staging and Choreography by Sue-Ellen Shook as with the Costumes by Karla Erenbots and Kaspa Elston whom also took on the props, which only enhanced the storyline and journey of the show.

Simple yet effective is certainly the formula here as we share the joy with some awesome moments of as fun assortment of vehicles and firework features that only enhance the magic of this production.

It’s clear the teamwork and crew behind this well thought out and beautifully designed performance only add to the talents that truly make for a wonderful and authentic night at this open air theatre show. Brilliance is executed from Production Managers Peter Amesbury and Kelly Harris and no doubt coordinated brilliantly by Stage Manager Danae Crawford. The Music Direction by Paul Norton was just neat and tidy with the timing of sound effects that certainly enhanced the show and connect with the performers.

 Shakespeare’s delightful comedy will dazzle and delight audiences of all ages with the park forming the ideal background as audiences are taken on a riotous ride through the world of lovers, fairies and fools in this enchanting tale of laughter and comedy.

From the moment the show starts you are swept into the wondrous roles and captivating energy of these delightful characters. An inner glow and smile is apparent as you appreciate such talent behind this beautifully delivered, historical play.

You are certainly immersed and feel part of this beautiful performance as you are submerge and transported effortlessly within the twists and turns and simple delicious characters, that will weave in and out of this beautifully staged performance.

A Midsummer Nights Dream, weaves together the intersecting stories of feuding fairies, eloping lovers, and a madcap troupe of actors. Theatregoers will be transported to a world full of laughter and comedy set in an enchanted forest (or Sydney’s Centennial Park).

It’s fun, magical, full of adventure, enchanting and a definite must see to experience this very special feel good performance.

Audiences are welcome to bring along a picnic of their own or take advantage of the on-site bar. High and low chairs are also available for hire at the venue.

Playing until 28th April, so do yourself a favour and rug up during the freshness of Autumn and get ready to be transported to indeed another world.

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