A Midsummer Night's Dream
This event has now finished. Until Mar 20 2010
Time Out says
The much publicised idea of turning Titania into Elizabeth I doesn't do a vast amount for Peter Hall's production. But if it was the hook that persuaded Judi Dench that she was not too ancient to play a fairy queen, then it serves its purpose well. Not only does she make a fabulous Titania but she has lured the people of Kingston into their theatre at last. Her success sets a poser for artistic director Stephen Unwin. If the bar has to be set so high, who on earth does he turn to for a follow up?
If there were any doubts, Dench's first confrontation with Oberon immediately grips as she describes the climactic consequences of their quarrel. In complete contrast, there's a comical delight in hearing her famous cracked voice professing her love for an ass as she swooningly strokes the whiskers on Bottom's nose. Her devotion is made additionally funny as the ass's head is huge and Oliver Chris's Bottom towers over the tiny queen. Chris is an exuberant Brummie Bottom making a right meal of Pyramus's death, while Leon Williams's Thisbe struggles to hold her dead lover in her arms, hooking one of her plaits back with the wooden dagger with which she is about to kill herself. Rachael Stirling also shines as Helena. She dominates the actors playing the other lovers, although the character she plays has never shown quite so little self esteem.
Other aspects are more workmanlike. It's as if some actors have seized their opportunities, while the rest have waited in vain for a greater steer from the director. As one would expect, much of the magic of Hall's production lies in its lyricism, but parts of the play, particularly the relationship between Theseus and Hippolyta, remain strangely unexplored.
Restaurants near Rose Theatre Kingston
- Gourmet Burger Kitchen
- Jamie's Italian Kingston
- La Tasca Spanish Tapas Bar and Kitchen - Kingston upon Thames