A Most Rare Vision: Nick Hytner’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream At Bridge Theatre
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The bar set by last year’s explosive Julius Caesar during Bridge Theatre’s inaugural season was an extremely high one. This year’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes that bar and turns it into a maypole, trapeze and dancing cane all at once.
Hytner’s immersive promenade version of the Dream employs many of the same innovative staging techniques as 2018’s Caesar, but to vastly different ends. Here in this dream-world, Shakespeare collides with Cirque de Soleil and a Pride parade in a melee of sequin-spangled silliness.
Gwendoline Christie’s statuesque Titania reigns majestic above it all, while David Moorst’s Puck is the impish and impudent master of revels who frequently throws in his own modern vernacular asides.
Hytner’s plot tinkering and other modern twists may not appeal to Shakespeare purists, though it stays true to the spirit, if not the letter, of the original.
‘Immersive’ seems to be chucked around a lot in theatre these days; its voguishness is even referenced by the play itself. But don’t let that put you off: this staging of the Dream is spectacular in every sense of the word.
Go for tickets in the pit for the full sensory feast — the two and a half hours of standing is worth it in exchange for total immersion in the party atmosphere.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bridge Theatre, Potters Fields Park, SE1 2SG. Tickets £15-£69.50 until 31 August 2019.
Last Updated 13 June 2019