REVIEW: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Eye Castle

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The Eye Castle amenity area provided an ideal venue for the Dove Players Youth Cast production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream earlier this month.

This abridged child friendly version was perfect for the cast of 16 ranging from 10-18 who incredibly had just five days to learn the script and rehearse. The enthusiasm and confidence shown by all was apparent and credit must also go to the directors Charlotte Rodwell and Jules Blaxhill, with help from Josh Gould who took part in the very first Youth summer production.

The up to date version set in a school was well suited to the cast with plenty of teenager humour, but still retaining the well known Shakespeare story and dialogue.

The storytellers, Clare Blaxhill, Hannah Wells and Liane Day, also doubling as Theseus, Hippolyta and Egeus, played a major part in involving the audience and keeping the action moving by interspersing changes of scene and costume with a few jokes.

The school football captain Raphi Rushforth and the cheer leader Livi Madland-Shorter were well cast as King Oberon and Queen Titania Teenagers Hannah Tierney as Hermia, Ben Davies as Lysander, Olivia Greenwood as Helena and Minnie Joy as Demetrius revelled in the usual Shakespearian mix up with identities and relationship problems.

The Rude Mechanicals, performing their play within a play, included Isaac Greenwood as Bottom, who transformed into the Ass, Calum Tierney as Quince, Alice Coulson as Flute, also doubling as Cobweb, Christian Smith as Snout, ably doubling as The Wall, Emma Barnard as Snug, doubling as Mustardseed and Alice Greenwood as Starveling, doubling as Peaseblossom.

Special mention should be made of Tom Griffiths, a lively and energetic Puck who created much mischief in the forest.

Appreciative audiences for both performances were rewarded with fine, but breezy weather, although some sharp showers marred outdoor rehearsals during the week.

The next production by the Dove Players will be the pantomime Cinderella in December.