Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Red Rose Chain, Jimmy’s Farm, Wherstead, to August 30

Red Rose Chain's Theatre in the Forest show A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo Bill Jackson

Red Rose Chain's Theatre in the Forest show A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo Bill Jackson - Credit: Archant

It’s the fourth time the company have tackled this Shakespearean comedy and it’s my second time seeing them do it. It didn’t lessen my enjoyment.

Red Rose Chain's Theatre in the Forest show A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo Bill Jackson

Red Rose Chain's Theatre in the Forest show A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo Bill Jackson - Credit: Archant

Hermia and Lysander flee Athens to wed. They are pursued by Hermia’s actual intended Demetrius and Helena, who is besotted with Demetrius. Lost in the forest they, and acting troupe the Mechanicals, become unintentional pawns in a row between fairy royals Oberon and Titania.

It’s a typically convoluted plot and the eight-strong cast of Daniel Booroff, Joanna Brown, Eleanor Cotton-Soares, who really stood-out for me as the feisty Hermia; Robert Dowdeswell, Oliver Mawdesley, Rachael McCormick, Kirsty Thorpe and Adam Wilson play multiple roles. Who’s who and what’s happening is easy to follow thanks to Joanna Carrick’s deft direction and skill at making the story clear without cheapening or lessening the original text.

This was an imaginative and very bawdy intepretation but parents needn’t worry, the lewder moments are verse-based so will go over little ones’ heads. And no, that’s not a dig at your height Hermia.

Fast and frenetically paced, more in the first half than the second, it was very quippy as usual. The physical comedy was upped this year too with falls, lots of running around, etc, which the younger audience members lapped up. It occassionally resulted in things getting a bit shouty though, making it hard to understand what was being said.

Cleverly staged, beautifully lit, with a sizzling soundtrack, it was a fun night out. Click here to go behind the scenes.


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Wayne Savage

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