Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review of Two Pence Theatre Company's A Midsummer Nights Dream

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called A Midsummer Nights Dream. It was by William Shakespeare and directed by Shannon Fillion. Hermia (Mary Tilden) and Lysander (Josh Mattingly) run off into the woods together and Helena (Lucy Carapetyan) tells Demetrius (Martel Manning)--who she is in love with but he isn't in love with her; he is in love with Hermia--about it.  So they run off into the woods to find them.  And the entire time Helena is saying how much she loves him and pouring odes on him.  And there are also these fairies named Titania (Alexis Randolph), Oberon (Tom Wells) and Puck (Judy Lea Steele). And Oberon and Puck are trying to make everything right between the lovers, but they end up making mischief.  But also while they are doing that they are trying to make Titania love Oberon again.  There are also these normal people who have no acting experience who are trying to put on this play for the Duke's wedding.  In this production everyone plays a lot of parts and sometimes they are in the same scene so I think that must be pretty crazy for the actors. That was cool and new and exciting. This was a very exciting and fun show. I had a good time at it!

My favorite part of Midsummer Night's Dream is always the "players" because they are always so funny, so clueless, and such terrible actors. The Wall (Tilden) had dead eyes and was smiling the entire time. She looked so terrified; it was hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing the entire time. And every time they said "the chink" she held out her arm like a robot and she would just pop it up whenever they needed it. And I thought that was hilarious. Moonshine (Randolph) also was very terrified and said her lines so quietly and quickly. I found it funny that the actors got to comment on the players' acting as another character. Like that happened when Demetrius said something about the Lion (who the same actor had just played). He even said it with the Lion mane around his neck. And the Duke comments still holding Pyramus' (Wells) sword. And I thought, "If they think the play is so bad, why did they buy all the merchandise so they could dress like the characters!" (Just kidding! I understood that they just didn't have time to change!)

I thought that is was cool that Puck also played Hermia's father because they are such different characters. This production gave you a lot of ideas about the play because when the same actors play a lot of parts, you start to see the similarities that you hadn't noticed before. The way that Puck and the father both treat people is like, "I don't care how you're feeling." And they both work for a monarch! If the father were more fun, they might be exactly the same! Another cool triple casting thing was where Bottom, Oberon, and the Duke were all the same person. They usually have the Duke and Oberon be the same person, but never Bottom. (I just realized! Bottom got his wish. He got to play more than just Pyramus!) It shows that maybe this all is just a dream for Bottom. Or maybe Oberon dresses himself as Bottom so that Titania will fall in love with him as an ass. I always think she should have stayed with Bottom, even though he is a bit of an idiot, instead of going with that son of a biscuit. But this kind of changed my opinion because I thought Oberon was making a metaphor and saying, come back to me, don't worry I won't be an ass anymore.

I thought the lovers scene was very funny. This one was especially funny because I found it so hilarious when someone would just sit on somebody because they were so mad at them. They also made this big hamster pile of people and then Bottom came in and laid on them and then they became the fairies, Peaseblossom, Mustardseed, Cobweb, and Moth. They didn't even have their costumes for the fairies, so you didn't know they were the fairies until they woke up. I thought that was really cool and awesome. Another funny thing in the fight was how they would have smack fights instead of fights with swords and stuff like that. I always love the insults in the scene and it was super funny in this version because the men reacted like "How dare you!" when Hermia insulted Helena.

People who would like this show are people who like awesome triple casting, smack fights, and hamster piles of fairies. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. It was very funny and a great new way to experience this play!

Photos: Ben Chandler

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