REVIEW: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theatre Royal Norwich

The Common Lot as Shakespeare's Rude Mechanic
The Common Lot as Shakespeare's Rude Mechanic
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The joy that is the Royal Shakespeare Company rolls into town with this exuberant comedy which has the added interest of a smattering of local actors performing alongside the professionals. And yes, you’re hard pressed to tell the difference!

This production is most definitely played for laughs, with touches of slapstick, as the complicated plot involving four young lovers twists and turns its way to a thankfully happy ending. As we know, the course of true love never runs smoothly!

It is packed full of rich characters such as Puck and Oberon who are almost too much as they contrast with the delicate young lovers, including Lysander beautifully played by Jack Holden, and a healthy array of fairies and sprites.

Norfolk theatre company, The Common Lot, fills several of the roles, including Owen Evans as a highly entertaining Bottom, while students from Sprowston Community High School in Norwich excel as as Titania’s fairy train.

The piece, set in 1940s Britain, has a touch of the post war to it which I didn’t especially understand but I did enjoy the onstage musicians who kept the action flowing.

As usual with anything involving the RSC, you should expect the unexpected. They are masters at taking the Bard’s much loved pieces and squeezing everything, and a bit more, from them.

The show continues until Saturday, visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

Sarah Hardy