REVIEW - Midsummer Night's Dream at Malvern Theatres is 'brilliant bawdy romp' - The Worcester Observer

REVIEW - Midsummer Night's Dream at Malvern Theatres is 'brilliant bawdy romp'

Worcester Editorial 4th Apr, 2024 Updated: 4th Apr, 2024   0

THE WORD ‘accessible’ leaps out as you are watching this splendid new imagining by Paul Milton of Shakespeare’s best-known comedy. From the minute a bunch of clowns – aka ‘the rude mechanicals’ – burst through the auditorium doors creating delightful disorder, you know this is not going to be a twee, doff-of-the-cap to the Stratford lad.

What follows is adrenaline fueled bawdy romp that mixes magic, mirth and mayhem in a simply joyous experience.

Milton directs a company of just ten who give us a cavalcade of characters thrice their number. He has taken liberties on how the story should be told – and I’d say the success of this shows in the confidence and obvious enjoyment from everyone concerned.

He involves us too with some clever action happening in the audience, which is most engaging and never intimidating.

Charles Cusick-Smith and Phil R Daniels give us an enchanting, kaleidoscopic set which moves us seamlessly between the kingdoms of humans and fairies. The costumes are mystical, spectacular and always appropriate. Likewise, Michael Childs music is catchy, tuneful and totally in keeping.

The genius of this production is the casting of the legendary clown Tweedy as Bottom. He is simply wonderful and enjoys many moments of spontaneous applause for his solo work whilst the cast are changing frocks – yet he is a team player when needed. He is also the shows comedy advisor and one can only imagine the fun that went on in rehearsals.

Everyone deserves praise, but I’d like to give a special mention to Jeremy Stockwell who, for me, was simply outstanding as the ultimate naughty Puck.

I had the pleasure of seeing some of Milton’s work years ago in Birmingham and shall definitely be watching what he is doing at his home base of the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham now that I am reunited.

I have never laughed as much at a Shakespeare play – this adaptation loses nothing and gains much – catch it at Malvern this week if you can, failing that it’s worth sallying forth to other theatres on the small tour.

This ‘Dream’ is splendid, hilarious, magical and oh so accessible which makes it simply – unmissable!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is at Malvern Theatres until Saturday, April 6. Click here for times, tickets and more information.



Review by Euan Rose

Euan Rose Reviews


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