Thursday, 16 June 2016

FOUR STAR REVIEW A Midsummer Night's Dream, Southwark Playhouse

ANARCHIC, fun, hilarious, fast paced, bonkers, brilliant, chaotic, riotous, imaginative and irreverent. These are just some of the many words you could and should use to describe Go Theatre People's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.
On at the Southwark Playhouse, it is the latest in a long line of productions of Shakespeare's classic which are being staged this year and it is like nothing I've ever seen.
It has a cast of just seven who delight in telling us right from the off that they will be doubling and trebling to fill the 17 roles in the original text as they try to stage the play in a little under two hours.
The cast assemble around a table on a plywood floor on the traverse stage and discuss the allocation of roles before the play begins proper.
There is plenty of bluster not least between Freddie Fox and Freddie Hutchins which spills over in their roles as Demetrius and Lysander respectively.
They have no set, there is no special lighting, no music and the bare minimum of props. So they rope in unsuspecting members of the audience and persuade us to use a tonne of imagination to tell the stories of the young lovers and the fairies in the forest.
It is all tongue in cheek and full of laughs although there are a few times when the essence of the play gets lost and it all feels a bit much and a case of trying too hard.
But these are few and far between and in truth it is a pretty glorious production with some hilarious moments where the comedy is ramped up to the max - Freddie Fox morphing into the ass being a case in point.
Other priceless scenes include those with the audience members - so if you don't want to get involved I'd advise against sitting on the front row.
Starring Lucy Eaton, Freddie Fox, Melanie Fullbrook, Maddy Hill, Ludovic Hughes, Freddie Hutchins and Suzie Preece it is a joyful and riotous take on this iconic play.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is on at the Southwark Playhouse until July 1. Tickets cost £20. Visit or call the box office on 020 7407 0234  

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