A Dream Production of Bard's `Midsummer'

By Pressley, Nelson | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 23, 1996 | Go to article overview

A Dream Production of Bard's `Midsummer'


Pressley, Nelson, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


"A Midsummer Night's Dream" remains one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies because it is so lean, so pretty and so happy. But it's almost always a disappointment on the stage. Actors trip over themselves trying to be funny, and directors outsmart themselves trying to find bright ways to bring the fairy scenes and romantic confusion to life.

So it's a particular delight to witness the easy magic of director Adrian Noble's staging of this comedy for the Royal Shakespeare Company, which is making the Kennedy Center one of only four stops on its American tour. The show looks like a Technicolor dream, it's acted with surprising athleticism, and - hardest of all to achieve - it's deliciously funny.

That is due, as often as not, to the terrifically physical acting, especially among the four star-crossed lovers. Emily Raymond's sad-faced, gangly Helena chases Kevin Robert Doyle's Demetrius (who loves Hermia, not Helena) like a spaniel, even forlornly raising a paw his way in hope of a shake. Demetrius's groggy "Here therefore awhile will I remain" gets a , unlikely laugh because he's just been knocked flat by a vicious head butt from Monica Dolan's Hermia.

Barry Kyle's Puck is lightning quick and has a light sneer that is mirrored by his amusingly smug turn as Philostrate, Theseus's right-hand man. Alex Jennings doubles as Theseus, Duke of Athens, and Oberon, King of the Fairies; with his miniature version of Bride of Frankenstein hair and his gorgeous, imperial voice, he's a magnetic, slightly goofy otherworldly ruler.

Lindsay Duncan is his opposite number, doubling as Hippolyta (betrothed to Theseus) and Titania (the Fairy Queen). Miss Duncan looks utterly love-drunk in a hot pink floor-length nightgown out of Mae West's closet, and she's a great sexy foil for Desmond Barrit's baleful donkey deadpans as Bottom, the weaver transformed into an ass that Titania falls in love with. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Dream Production of Bard's `Midsummer'
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.