Skip to main content

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It)


King’s Theatre
4 stars 
When a rowdy bunch burst noisily through the auditorium wielding a 
felled, full-size tree-trunk at the opening of Dmitry Krymov’s Russian 
language  reimagining of Shakespeare’s frothiest rom-com, only the 
little dog padding about astride the tree truly knows what we’re in 
for. Krymov’s production, commissioned by the Chekhov International 
Theatre Festival for his School of Dramatic Art Theatre, after all, is 
billed as something ‘after Shakespeare’ rather than of it.

So it goes in a wildly irreverent work that puts the Rude Mechanicals 
at the centre of the action rather than cast as the usual comic fall 
guys, even if there are prat-falls aplenty. Once the tree-trunk, then a 
leaky fountain, is disposed of on a stage covered with plastic 
sheeting, the troupe of players change into formal attire as they await 
their audience. This comes in the shape of a bunch of disgruntled 
toffs, whose mobile phones interrupt the action in a makeshift VIP area 
even as the sternest of their number complains throughout.

There is no forest and no Bottom’s dream, only Pyramus and Thisbe, who 
come in the form of giant junk-shop puppets operated by the 
Mechanicals. There are acrobatics and operatics, while the dog does 
back-flips in-between fending off a rubbish lion, able to take anything 
in his four-legged stride.

On one level, this is a glorious entertainment, right down to a finale 
involving a part Scat, part Kurt Schwitters style chorus and a 
tippy-toed take on Swan Lake. On another, it’s a fantastical 
theatrical in-joke performed with vaudevillian largesse. As the little 
old lady who’s been growling through proceedings onstage herself says, 
Shakespeare would have loved it.

The Herald, August 25th 2012

ends



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1
1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77)
3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77)
4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77)
5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77)
6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77)
7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77)
8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78)
9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78)
10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79) 
11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79)
12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79) 
13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79)
14. JOLT See Saw (6/79)
15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79)
16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79)
17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79)
18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79)
19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79)
20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79)
21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79)
22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79)
23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79)
24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80)
25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980)

1. THE REZILLOS I Can’t Stand My Baby (Sensible FAB 18/77) If it wasn’t for T…

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1
1. THE STONE ROSES  - Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3  - Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART  - Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS  - Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY - Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!  - Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS - I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS - In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES  - Everso 10. THE SEERS  - Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND - You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS - We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE  - Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS  - Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND - In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES - Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS  - Justice In Freedom (12" Version)

1. THE STONE ROSES Don’t Stop ( SilvertoneORE1989)
The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds like it. Vocalist Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire met in 1980 at Altrincham Grammar School. With bassist …