Review: LAMDA’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds.

LAMDA's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

LAMDA's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. - Credit: Archant

If this year’s graduating class from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts is anything to go by, the future of theatre is in safe hands.

Their performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is confident, professional and charming with clever staging and delightful audience interaction.

The production’s modern take sees the enchanting tale set in 1950’s Athens, Ohio (complete with close harmony singing and doo-wop) where Theseus, Duke of Athens, is getting married and four young lovers run away to the forest to pursue true love.

Cesare Scarpone is strong as Theseus and his opening inspires a confidence in what is to come. Hannah Higton also stands out as the love-sick Helena - suitably diffident and funny while doing remarkable justice to the lines even with a broad southern-belle accent.

Indeed, all of the performers are impressive but special mention must be made of Michael Shea, as Peter Quince, and his bumbling group of players (greasy mechanics).

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The stage lights up for their scenes which are nothing short of hilarious.

Daniel Pitout plays Bottom as appropriately booming and over-confident with a disconcerting penchant for removing his shirt, while the whole group entertains with a mixture of Shakespeare’s brilliant comedy and their own slapstick.

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Yes, it all goes a bit Blake’s 7 (might be showing my age here) when the fairies are on stage but they manage to carry it off and Fred Haig, as Oberon, manages to be both powerful and funny, while Madison Clare shines as mischievous Puck.

This reviewer is a traditionalist when it comes to Shakespeare and any modern twist to his work is viewed with suspicion, but these talented young performers may just have converted me. Bravo.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues tonight and again tomorrow at 3pm and 7.30pm

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