Reviewers of the original run agreed that they'd never laughed so much at a Shakespeare play, and their verdict has aged well. With an ass called Bottom and some rather feisty fairies, A Midsummer Night's Dream, is already a funny play, and here it's been blended with high quality improv (and incredibly effective music and sound from the London Snorkelling Team) to create a theatrical carnival that reminds us of Richard Bean's hit comedy One Man two Governors.
The company are clearly not shy of imposing their own ideas on a classic, occasionally not shy enough. The meta-theatricality wears thin at times; cheap gags, scripted ad libs and knowing asides sometimes feel smug. It’s a riot, but a bit of a shame that the text has been cut quite so viciously to make space for the zany, cartoonish antics.
Those few reservations aside, though, this is a production to cherish. Claire Dunne’s wild eyed, self-pitying Helena is the flatmate of your nightmares, and John Lightbody is able to transform his mild Lysander into a crooning sex pest as fast in the blink of an eye. In fact the whole cast are funny to the bone, and the show is hysterical in every sense. But most wonderful of all are the eerie, fleeting moments where the clowns step away from centre stage and leave the play in the spotlight, brighter and stranger than ever before
Suitable for ages 11+
|What||A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lyric Hammersmith review|
Lyric Square, King St, W6 0QL | MAP
|Nearest tube||Hammersmith (Piccadilly and District lines) (underground)|
20 Feb 16 – 19 Mar 16, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Price||£15 - £35|
|Website||Click here to book via Lyric Hammersmith|