The Acting Gymnasium present a music festical-inspired take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Theatro Technis
“Goblin, lead them up and down”
With an ensemble comprising of 12 nationalities, the Acting Gymanium are currently performing three plays in rep at Mornington Crescent’s Theatro Technis. And it was a contemporary music festival-inspired take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, adapted and directed by Gavin McAlinden, that tempted me the most
The festival setting is an inspired idea as far as the quartet of lovers is concerned. The heady rush of drug fuelled shenanigans is a good fit for these four and the actors respond well to the treatment, particularly John Celea’s Demetrius and Dorian Hasani’s Lysander whose lovelorn antics for Helena verge on the hysterical.
It’s a trickier task to fit the royals into this world, thus this Theseus and Hippolyta don’t make too much of an impact as you can’t quite see where they fit. And if there’s something a little staid and traditional about the way the fairies float and flutter, the physicality of Max Easton’s playful Puck and the pulsing sexuality of Lisa Kinshuck and Michael Claff’s Titania and (beautifully spoken) Oberon are fun to watch.
And there’s lots of good ideas here – Bottom in a gimp mask, the notion that Titania is by far the most powerful of the fairies, the way in which Puck delivers his doses of love-in-idleness, the way in how easy it is to get lost and disorientated in the heaving crowd at a festival is used. There are moments where the larger concept could be pulled through more effectively, wordless sequences that go on a little too long, and the occasional rushed delivery. But all in all, a diverting Dream.