Review / The magical ‘Dream’

theatre
“The Dream”
By William Shakespeare, directed by Peter Evans
Bell Shakespeare
At The Playhouse until September 13.
Reviewed by Joe Woodward

YOU really haven’t seen Puck in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” until you see Julie Forsyth in “The Dream”.

Her immersion into Shakespeare’s strange and elusive character is an invasion into one’s lingering shadows and echoes of voices left over from childhood; but a childhood of fancy and dread at the same time. With her use of voice and gesture, she burrows below the known world into that of mystery and imagination. Forsyth along with Bell’s exemplary cast reveals the extraordinary world normally kept from the eyes of both 16th and 21st century audiences.

The magic of theatre is captured by the spirit world in the play; a world where players cast spells over the eyes of both each other and the human world of society. The illusion is thought to be real while the intervening manipulation is never recognised.

As an audience, we are left to laugh and enjoy the games. We care little as both women face death if they do not accept the commands of the men. Only the magic world really engages. The reality is too terrifying.

Peter Evans’ deft directorial hand along with designer Teresa Negroponte, lighting designer Rachel Burke, sound designer Caitlin Porter and movement director Nigel Poulton have crafted an ingenious dreamscape through which the actors venture.

They become spectres resonating with a power to haunt the sceptical mind of the contemporary spectator.

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