Tomahawk Theatre have become a recent fixture at the
For those who have never read, seen or studied A Midsummer Night's Dream, the plot concerns a pair of lovers, Lysander and Hermia, who flee a disapproving father into the forests surrounding
With a play as familiar as A Midsummer Night's Dream, it starts to resemble comfort food for Shakespeare enthusiasts, and I shall confess I found myself thoroughly enjoying this sweetly good-humoured production. It moves on at a terrific pace and benefits from some exemplary ensemble moments, climaxing with a marvellous version of the Mechanicals play, The Tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe. The set is minimal, but the production benefits from the grand backdrop of the castle, and the costumes (including Bottom's donkey head) are tremendous. This is a production that, for the most part, holds together nicely.
The cast are all great, speaking with a clarity of voice that meant we could hear each of the syllables (sometimes a challenge with open-air theatre). The lovers are all fabulously cast. Billy Morton successfully manages the switch from devoted partner of Hermia to obsessive wooer of
As the play progresses and the mischief that befalls the quartet in the Athenian woodlands escalates, the lovers come into their own, with several stand-out moments of slapstick comedy. They spit out their insults with particular venom and it is clear, as it is with the rest of the cast, that they are having a lot of fun here. I was particularly impressed that Morton and Gruev doubled up as Tom Snout and Nick Bottom respectively, and the two became dominating presences in this production. The remainder of the Mechanicals (Colin Burnie,
The final component of the ensemble, the fairies, were also strongly presented, led by a rambunctious Craig Finlay as Puck. Kieran Chambers and Eleonora Rossi make for an authoritative Oberon and Titania, while Beth Burns, Adela Herandez and Francisco Vera bring much character to the fairy entourage. It is comforting to see Shakespeare played by a strong cast from the lead characters down.
With the gorgeous weather that