A Midsummer Night's Dream

The course of true love doesn’t run smooth for long in this Shakespearian comedy. As Duke Theseus and Hippolyta prepare for their wedding, Egeus, an Athenian citizen arrives with a predicament: His daughter Hermia won’t marry the man he intends for her, Demetrius, and instead has fallen for Lysander. Demetrius himself has baggage; he used to love Hermia’s friend Helena but now loves Hermia, much to Helena’s heartbreak. Alongside this, a comically unskilled troop of craftsmen prepare a play for Theseus’ wedding and things begin to take a turn for the worst as they soon fall prey to the strange magic of the woods, where the fairies and sprites lurk.

There wasn’t a single weak link that brought the production down.

The performance, by Brighton University Drama Society, opens with twinkling music onto a minimalist but suggestive set, dressed simply with ivy vines and fairy lights. The subtlety hinted at the enchanting nature of the story. The production overall is very strong, it's well-directed and embellished with a host of particularly beautiful costumes. In fact, a lot of the comedy in the craftsmen’s play comes from the inventiveness of the costume design. Who knew a wall could have such comic timing?

Initially the performance was a little self conscious, but the cast soon warmed up and hardly a slip was made during the play’s two and a half hour duration. It is a commendable achievement in itself to tackle a play of this length, especially added with the density of a Shakespearian script. The cast gave a particularly credible performance; Oscar Stafford shone as the mischievous sprite Puck, giving a playful and energetic performance throughout. There wasn’t a single weak link that brought the production down.

Brighton University Drama Society presented a very enjoyable, charming performance of Shakespeare’s sweet and tangled comedy.

Reviews by Lois Zoppi

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The Blurb

After their stellar appearance in last year's Brighton Fringe, the Brighton University Drama Society are back, this time with their rendition of William Shakespeare's most popular comedy.