Skip to main content

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow
Four stars

Teenage dreams are hard to beat in Ali de Souza’s revival of Shakespeare’s most psycho-active rom-com, given a fair old elixir of youth by the RCS’ second year BA Acting students. De Souza sets out his store on school prize-giving day at downtown Athens High, where love is in the air, and both students and teachers old enough to know better are a little bit overcome. Poor head-girl Hermia is so lovesick she takes a leap down the rabbit-hole of her fevered imagination as stage-fright and hormones get the better of her.

School janny Egeus has to complain to head teachers Theseus and Hippolyta about the big fallout between Hermia, her swotty pal Helena and the boys who’ve come between them, Lysander and Demetrius. Once the gang do a runner in the woods, things take on a Lord of the Flies vibe, as chemical enhancement fires them up enough to ditch their old school ties. Meanwhile, goody-two-shoes Titania and Oberon are letting their hair down in similar fashion, while Peter Quince’s drama club go equally off the rails. At the centre of all this mischief is Charlie O’Conor’s wild child Puck, a feral refugee from Bash Street, who takes the idea of a school trip to mind-expanding extremes.

De Souza’s Grange Hill meets Skins style approach pays dividends in a show framed by the blackboards of designer Myron Hunter-Urie’s set. With the young lovers at the show’s throbbing heart, Felixe Forde and Eimear Fearon flit between innocence and experience as Hermia and Helena. Veera Lapinkoski lends Titania a Miss Brodie-like sense of emancipation, and Jamie Burch makes for a delightfully ridiculous Bottom, for whom self-awareness is spectacularly lacking.

What happens in the woods stays in the woods, however, as everyone sorts themselves out for rock and roll prom night. The awakening that’s already occurred is sealed with a kiss in a way that suggests a little learning can be a blissfully dangerous thing.

The Herald, January 25th 2019
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 REZILL

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 ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) 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

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug