Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Midsummer Night's Dream by Dubai Drama Group

Brooke Butterworth as Titania, Ciaran O Maoilchiarain as Bottom, Cliff Single as Oberon, and Zain Sheikh as Puck

My last acquaintance with Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was back in literature class in school. Dubai Drama Group's production of the famous comedy of errors at DUCTAC last weekend was far removed from the ancient Greek imagery in my young head, though, set as it was in mid-20th century America.

Jennifer Cooper as Helena, Olivia Middleton as Hermia, Ben Franklin as Demetrius, and Stefan Malinowski as Lysander

I was very pleased with both the choice and implementation of the costumes. All the human characters' clothes looked sharp and consistent. Having the royal fairy couple dressed up in East Asian attire was a nice touch, as were their hairstyles and face paint; all of these served well to set their world apart from that of the humans. Set design was also good - minimal, but quality. I'm not sure why the fairy underlings had to manipulate puppets of themselves, but this was executed well too.

Erik Hadden as Theseus, Celia Cookson as Hippolyta, and Hani Yakan as Francis Flute

As for the actors, practically everyone made excellent work of it, and while there were a few dialogue fumbles post-interval (this was the first show, though, so I trust this would have been remedied in subsequent shows), everything went on smoothly.

Toby Masson as Tom Snout

I especially liked Cliff Single's Oberon, and Zain Sheikh gave us an unceasingly energetic performance as Puck. Among the humans, I thought Olivia Middleton as Hermia and Ben Franklin as Demetrius were particularly outstanding. Ciaran O Maoilchiarain's Bottom was brilliant in all three forms, and Toby Masson's portrayal of Tom Snout was hilarious. 

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