A Midsummer Night's Dream

Perhaps Shakespeare’s most famous comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has the potential to either be comedic gold or irritating lip-service, depending on the quality of the cast and crew. Luckily, this production, by the New Players Company of Ridgewood High School, most certainly falls into the former group.

Surprisingly professional and a delight to watch, the New Players Company have certainly put on a show to be proud of.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows the story of a group of young Athenians, each of whom is in love with someone they shouldn’t be. Lysander loves Hermia, who loves him back, but they are forbidden to be together; Hermia’s father wants her to marry Demetrius, who is madly in love with her despite being pursued by Helena. With Lysander and Hermia soon lost in the woods whilst trying to elope (followed swiftly by Demetrius and Helena), all hell starts to break loose. A play full of fairies, true love, and Bottom - the funniest actor/donkey in all of Shakespeare – A Midsummer Night’s Dream needs tight timing and characterisation in order to keep all of these balls in the air.

The New Players Company does so with more panache than one might have the right to expect from a high school theatre group. Relationships feel natural; their comedic timing is wonderfully spot on; each of the shows actors commits wonderfully to the physicality of their roles. They attack the stage with the kind of energy that is necessary to make A Midsummer Night’s Dream work for modern audiences. The actors playing Hermia and Bottom are extremely worth of note, bringing a presence to the stage beyond their years. Similarly, the costuming and staging of the show indicates an intricate attention to detail, making the show an aesthetic delight.

There were a few issues with the production. At times noises coming from the wings were distracting, all though far and few between. Similarly it may have benefitted some of the actors to moderate their performances slightly in places so as not to become too shrill. It's funny to see a character shout out of exasperation, but returns diminish each subsequent time they do so.

This is not to detract from the overall quality of the show. Surprisingly professional and a delight to watch, the New Players Company have certainly put on a show to be proud of. 

Reviews by Alexander Gillespie

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

What happens when mere mortals - some love-struck and some stage-struck - unwittingly stumble into the fairies' domain on Midsummer's Eve? The New Players Company of Ridgewood High School presents Shakespeare's immortal comedy of love and other foolishness. Our adaptation combines the original text with dance and music to capture the delightful whimsy of the Bard's funniest play. Fun for all ages, come join us in the magical woods where anything can happen and where love reigns supreme!

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