Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
Posted 07 January 2012 - 08:31 AM
Posted 07 January 2012 - 11:43 AM
Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:43 PM
1. Due to rain, it started late, so was going to finish late (rather too late for me).
2. It wasn't intresting enough to keep me in the cold damp condition through the 2nd Act.
The setting is modern. A caravan and a mobile home. Modern clothes, mainly Addidas track suits for men. Concrete floor.
The first 6 minutes or so the men just walk around the stage and the path created midst the auditorium in some kind of construction noise. A tall crane was standing behind the stage (to be used later). It gave me a muddled feeling right from the start.
All the Act I was like watching a play through a net curtain. Just there wasn't a clear vision what the director wanted to do. Modern setting for what effect? , for example. The lovely woody surrounding which would have been perfect for any able director or designer was completely ignored. There was no magic, no sparkle, no charm anywhere.
Titania was dry and looked under influence of a drug or something (probably meant to look dreamy....). The Puck was by far the most BORING I've ever seen. And visually a bit repulsive. If Puck is like that, we don't need him. Yuck! So was the strange figure in brown and vage. What was that? Yuck.
Bottom was played by a very thick sounding (actually couldn't tell what he was saying) fat actor, who wasn't funny at all. And his purple peni* came detached, and had an intercourse with his own an*s. Well actually Tinania's faries (athletic looking men in green unitard) forced it upon him. Is it written in the book? Then Titania had a rather explicit intercourse with Bottom. A bit of nuidity here too. Parrents of young children beware.
Anyway, I have seen far far interesting Midsummers in much smaller theatres in or outdoor, modern or traditional setting. Last year Open Air Theatre gave us Beggars' Opera, and now this. What's going on?
Posted 06 June 2012 - 06:03 AM
Posted 06 June 2012 - 07:46 AM
Thanks for the review. I was keen to see this. Seems the OAT has gone a bit gritty this season. I'm all for experimentation with a production, but agree that it sounds like such a perfect setting for The Dream is wasted; I kind of want twinkly lights in the trees etc too.
Shame about the weather though; it is an uncomfortable place in the wet & doesn't put one in the best frame of mind to start with.
Posted 06 June 2012 - 09:11 AM
I liked the gypsy camp setting - I must admit my heart sank during the pre-show sequence as I couldn't see how it was going to work at all, but once the play got going I really took to it. In terms of matching the play it's not an absolutely watertight 'concept', but it doesn't try to be - the relationships between the characters, the arranged marriages and the (to us) rather peculiar morality of those scenes seemed to work in this setting. It also worked, for me, for the weddings - and I enjoyed the really sinister side that David Birrell brought to Theseus, which came across far stronger than in previous productions I'd seen (not a long list, admittedly).
And I loved the fairies! I actually thought those scenes were played fairly straight, and better for that. And their appearance in the closing moments of the play was lovely, but I suppose if you hadn't liked them so far you might not have thought so. (I also loved the completely bonkers Pyramus and Thisbe performance, but the same applies.)
It's funny, reading back what I've just written it sounds like exactly the kind of thing I would hate. But for whatever reason it really worked for me on Monday night, I had a great time watching it.
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