Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Midsummer Night's Dream @ The Globe

It was a hot summers day in London. After a long hard day at work we were in for a treat. We headed down to the Globe theatre by the Thames to watch a Midsummer Night's Dream.

The theatre is in the shape of a cylinder with an open top. Seating is in three levels; ground, middle and upper sections on the side of the cylinder. On the ground the area around the stage is where the groundlings stand; with ramps leading to the stage in amongst them. The whole structure is made out of wood and everything about it feels unpretentious, suited to the common people as it would have been when the original theatre was in use. The seating is also modest, hard wooden benches with no real back support which you feel a bit at the end of a 3 hour performance. Nevertheless I dont think there is a bad seat in the house. We had great seats in the middle gallery straight infront of the stage.

The performance in itself was fantastic. The actors were versatile and comic. The duke and queen of Athens doubled as Oberon and Titania, their scottish accents somehow suiting both the fairyland and the court. The noteworthy actors were Bottom, Puck, Helena and Oberon. Helena was a great comic actress, passionate and held the audience captive everytime she was on stage. Puck was like a naughty school boy and quite funny. Oberon was magestic and fatherlike. However, Bottom stole the show. He was hilarious! He had the audience in the palm of his hand, so confident and versatile. The actors/labourers were also very well picked and played a pivotal role in the performance. Their play 'Pyramus and Thisbe' had the audience in tears.

The costumes were well suited and comic when they needed to be. The actors involved the audience well, the goundlings enjoying much of that interaction. The song and dance elements were used well to boost the performance. The set and props were minimal but well used. Overall I loved this play. Everything about the theatre and production contributed to the play being in essence what it needed to be; hilarious! I've seen a few productions of this play in the past and I think this one will hold a special place in my heart in years to come. I am already planning what I'm going to see next at the Globe :) Cant wait!!