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Message  Matthieu le Lun 29 Déc 2008 - 19:18

A desirable, delightful dream
Par Patricia Cooke (Sunday Star-Times, 13 avril 1997).
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM by William Shakespeare, State Opera House, Wellington; Aotea Centre, Auckland. Reviewed by PATRICIA COOKE.
THE language lives, the setting is magic, the actors are superb, the audience is absorbed, entranced, enchanted and the play is 400 years old. It's the Royal Shakespeare Company in A Midsummer Night's Dream playing to a packed Opera House.

If you don't know the story of A Midsummer Night's Dream it doesn't matter, because the lovers get the right partner in the end and the amateur actors do get to put on their play. But on the way all have been through some inexplicable hoops, as one does in a dream, and sorted out a few of their desires. In the magic wood with its potent dust, Oberon gets the young page he had his eye on, Titania indulges her fantasy for an illicit lover, the four youngsters clear the air around them with some outspoken truths and Bottom -- well, he has the kind of dream you can't explain to anyone. This is Adrian Noble's comic triumph. The colourful but surreal set, lighting and costumes, the music and strange noises that fill the air are a current of reminders that this is a dream. Perhaps it is the audience's dream, as the play opens with the measured breathing of someone deeply asleep. The swinging lightbulbs and floating doors suggest Magritte, and there is a lot of fun with a slippery floor, hammocks and umbrellas, designed by Anthony Ward. But it's the actors who make the evening joyous. Leigh Lawson as Theseus/Oberon has the masterful presence, the great looks and voice necessary, and he can delight us to laughter with a raised eyebrow. He is well-matched by the Titania/Hippolyta of Amanda Harris, who handles the poetry and passion very attractively. The young, energetic lovers are distinct personalities and farcically funny: Katy Brittain as Hermia combines a wan look and a fine rage, Helena (Rebecca Ryan) is elegant and wary, Demetrius (Matthew McFadyen) full of athletic pathos and Lysander (John Lloyd- Fillingham) fierce and feisty. Christopher Benjamin can't miss with Bottom, while the other hard-handed men of Athens fulfil all that is expected and, in Steven O'Neill's case as the tragic Thisbe, much, much more. The crown of the evening must go to Ian Hughes as Puck, who has found a brassy register for the lines and a striking physical presence which is both powerful and, well, puckish. More than a good evening, a joyful, beautiful, passionate, funny evening, not to be missed even if it means going without meals to buy a ticket -- this is food for the soul.
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Date d'inscription : 17/12/2008

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Message  Luce le Lun 29 Juin 2009 - 7:48

Sur le site d'Alexander Benjamin, la trace d'une critique du journal japonais Yomiuri Shimbun lors du Grand Tour, début 1997 :
When he toured Japan with the company in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Yomiuri Shimbun called his Bottom “a riot . . . Bugs Bunny teeth and Elmer Fudd arrogance.”
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