Saturday, May 14, 2011

Theatre: A Midsummer Night's Dream

William Shakespeare

Black Swan State Theatre Company
Directed by Kate Cherry
Set design by Christina Smith
Costume design by Alicia Clements
Lighting design by Trent Suidgeest
Sound design by Ash Gibson Greig
Featuring James Beck, Elizabeth Blackmore, Benj D’Addario, Adriane Daff, Arielle Gray, Stuart Halusz, Brendan Hanson, Luke Hewitt, Natalie Holmwood, Michael Loney, Sam Longley, Kelton Pell, Myles Pollard, Kenneth Ransom, Scott Sheridan, Alison van Reeken and Shubhadra Young  
Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre
May 11 ­– 22, 2011

There’s no mystery to the enduring popularity of A Midsummer Night’s Dream or its allure for directors and actors. The earliest of Shakespeare’s very greatest plays, its poetry – the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations selects 63 separate passages from it – and sheer sexiness, its bravura set pieces and memorable characters are an irresistible mix.
Alison van Reeken and Luke Hewitt 
Director Kate Cherry wisely lets the text, rather than any real or imagined sub-text, do the talking, and by and large it works for her.
Luke Hewitt’s turn as the immortal Bottom is a great success. Hewitt is a big, funny man, which makes Bottom the figure of fun meat and drink for him, but he’s got the sensitivity to deliver the character’s humanity and essential goodness. We can laugh at Bottom, but we need to respect him as well, and Hewitt makes us do both.
Alison van Reeken’s Titania is armed and dangerous, with weapons both human and supernatural at her disposal, even when lost in love or lust. She’s a knockout.
I was also taken by the Athenian youngsters, especially Adriane Daff’s Hermia and Elizabeth Blackmore’s Helena.
Black Swan’s second production in their new home sits more comfortably in the space than its first, and, some reservations aside, offers a satisfying entertainment for the audience that the State Theatre Company, and the big room at the State Theatre Centre, are in the process of building.

Link here for the complete review in The West Australian

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