Young Critic Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Ballet Cymru
The Lichfield Festival Young Critics are all aged 18 and under. They attend a number of events at the Lichfield Festival and send us their review within 24 hours.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Ballet Cymru
Sunday 9th July, Lichfield Garrick Theatre
Ballet usually makes me think of stiff tutus, formality and a sombre atmosphere. However, this is not the case for Ballet Cymru, because this company makes this art form more accessible and successfully reaches out to engage a wide audience. The production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was creative, fun and bewitching!
The setting of fairies, forest and night time was created in a number of imaginative ways. The projection of an enlarged silver moon created a mood of anticipation and a magical, mischievous feel. In the opening I liked the clever use of the umbrella. This umbrella was used as a gun, and then swirled around as a sword, which symbolised the argument between King Oberon and his Queen Titania. Comedy quickly resumes because Puck (Oberon’s servant) plants a love potion which makes Titania fall in love with a man who has the head of a donkey!
The costumes of the sprites, embellished with intricate flower designs which trailed around the white bodysuit, linked the performers to the woodland. Not only did the costume contribute to atmosphere, but it also helped the audience identify the character, as there was no dialogue throughout. The workmen characters were defined by their clomping black boots and looked like Victorian workers so the audience instantly understood their status.
After the confusion caused by spells and love potions in the forest are resolved, the action ends with another performance to celebrate a wedding. The workmen’s play reveals their foolishness and the clever use of small whistles which replaced the dialogue created a comic feel so the audience understands their play is not very sophisticated. I enjoyed the part when one of the workmen in his performance kills himself, he really over-dramatises the scene by stabbing himself many times.
“What fools these mortals be….” Words written on the back of the character of Wall certainly does not apply to Ballet Cymru!
By Emily Robson