Reviewed by Natasha Kolb
Of course, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been performed in so many different ways but after reading up on this particular performance I was excited to see what it offered. The award winning theatre company Immersion Theatre, presented an adaptation of this popular Shakespearean play which was set in Great Britain just after the start of the Great War.
I love visiting the Grove Theatre in Dunstable due to its smaller size which I find more relaxing for an evening out. Parking is close to the theatre and is free after 6pm. On this visit, we also discovered a good range of takeaways just a minutes’ drive away! Another big plus to the Grove is the reasonable price of both the bar drinks and snacks meaning my husband and I always treat ourselves more than we usually could on a theatre visit!
We entered the auditorium to the sound of bird song rather than the usual music you would expect immediately setting the forest scene well! We took our seats and as usual on a visit to the Grove, were pleased with our view of the stage but in this small theatre, most seats are well positioned! It was nice to see a real mix of ages from as young as 8 or 9, upwards. This performance also seemed to attract all types from students to wildly dressed eccentrics!
So, how do I review Shakespeare?
My only knowledge of Shakespeare is at GCSE level and let’s face it, I wasn’t that an enamoured back then! I’m not a huge lover of Shakespeare nor of the English arts and as there are going to be plenty of other critique reviews whose knowledge of the Shakespearean arts are far greater than mine is ever likely to be, I will review this instead, as a mum of two, going out for an evening with my husband just for a pleasant experience.
The set was simple and the costumes were only as elaborately needed to define the different characters played by each character which is what you would expect from Shakespeare theatre. However, with the simple set, costumes, lighting and background music, the cast were able to powerfully convey the moods of each scene brilliantly.
I was mesmerised from the very start by the brilliant acting and clever set design immediately hooking me into the story line despite me not particularly understanding the Shakespearean language used.
The only thing to mention is that the actors weren’t mic’d up which meant that the actors voices were nearly lost and only a rustle from someone snacking would mean you wouldn’t be able to hear. However as the Grove theatre is quite an ‘intimate’ auditorium this worked and it was nice not to hear the dialogue via microphones, it also meant the audience was completely silent!
The second act was only 30 minutes to the first act’s 70 minutes however it was full of hilarity and brilliant acting not least from the actor who played the wonderful Bottom! Every one of the 9 cast members, most of whom played at least two parts, played their roles brilliantly with perfect timing making this, overall a fantastic performance.
We felt it was a very good adaptation of this very popular play. Whether you’re a lover of Shakespeare, theatre in general or just looking for a good night out, this is most definitely worth a visit.
For other shows at the Grove Theatre visit www.grovetheatre.co.uk.
Grove Theatre, Grove Park, Court Drive, Dunstable, LU5 4GP. Box Office: 01582 60 20 80 (opt 7).