Alas, I did not win the My_Project blogger competition and will have to continue to buy my theatre tickets just like everybody else! It was very, very close at the end; if it had been a horse-race, we would have needed the photo finish! Thanks for all the votes and congratulations to Zara Doddy (whose blurb I actually really liked.) I’m glad it’s over because now I can stop begging for votes and refreshing the poll page every five minutes.
The Midsummer Night’s Dream? review below was part of my entry for the competition.
The question mark in the title of Loose Canon’s version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream suggests that this is not a direct translation of Shakespeare’s woodland comedy. It also highlights the dreamy side of Shakespeare’s play where nothing is quite as it seems. Despite being closer to the text than the title would suggest, Loose Canon really make this play about fairies and love-potions their own.
The cast of five play 14 characters in a play which has three different story-lines running through it. This sounds like it would be difficult to follow but the skill of the performers and the clear direction actually makes it very easy. Loose Canon’s experience with classical texts is evident in the ease with which they play with Shakespeare’s text.
There are great performances from every member of the cast as they skillfully change characters, sometimes mid-scene! Bottom (Ger Kelly) was very funny, and a proper ass even before he earned his horse’s head. Instead of the typical mischievous sprite, Phil Kingston’s Puck is droll and dead-pan in his clumpy Doc boots and pink fairy-wings. He provides a wonderful contrast to the flowery, over the top delivery of Barry O’Connor as Oberon, the King of the Fairies and the two have some wonderful scenes together. Helena and Hermione (Caitriona Ni Mhurchu and Louise Lewis, respectively) are fantastically spiteful and cruel as the warring friends who, thanks to the fairy’s meddling, end up fighting off the advances of the same man.
The set is white and clean. It is reminiscent of the set from Peter Brook’s famous “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1970 except in this version the clean atheistic is interrupted by the messy tables on one side of the stage. They are over-flowing with bottles of alcohol and half-full glasses, cigarettes and records, like the remains of a party. It gives the play an edge of over-indulgent debauchery.
The Peter Brook play features briefly in the clips that are played throughout the play. This multimedia aspect didn’t always work for me. At times, the jerky video clips of past productions are a nice additional layer of unrealness and it is a clever way of skimming over the less interesting parts of the play. However, sometimes they seemed to be explaining things to the audience which didn’t need explaining.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable production of Shakespeare’s well-known romantic comedy. In this version the comedy is definitely brought to front. Shakespeare’s jokes are sometimes a little bit hit and miss but this production managed to make them genuinely funny. This production is clever and funny and very much worth seeing.
One day last February I was walking through Temple Bar on my way to Project Arts Centre for The Theatre Machine Turns You On, Volume 2. There was loads of great stuff on in the Project that week but I couldn’t afford to see everything. I was thinking about how great it would be if I could find a way to get free theatre tickets; if I could make my blog so famous that people would ply me with free stuff in the hope that I would write about them. I was also thinking about the Fringe Award judges – you see them during the festival with giant piles of tickets, going to three or fours a night. I’m sure it’s a stressful job, and going to see things because you have to might take some of the joy out of it, but I’ve always been a little bit envious of all those tickets!
Then, about a week later the Project Arts Centre announced their My_Project competition where one lucky winner would get tickets for all the shows in the Project and would write about them for the Project website. Someone has been listening in to my thoughts! It was just like The Secret, all I had to do was think about it and it became real! I entered the competition but sadly didn’t win. So maybe you shouldn’t base your life on The Secret after all.
However – the My_Project blogger changes every three months. They started taking entries again in June, I entered and this time – I made it to the short list!
(I wrote about Loose Canon’s Midsummer Night’s Dream? and finished the review on the morning of June 22nd when I should have been packing for Glastonbury. As a result I forgot to bring my deodorant, my camera and my alcohol with me to the festival!)
I’ve made it the short list but now I need your vote to win!
You can see the three finalists and cast your vote here.