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Friday, June 8, 2007

School Theatre Review: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

The Saint Andrew's Cathedral School's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, a Shakespeare play which is one of the Bard's comedies, was a fine production indeed.

Some people may say I am uncultured, but I too have caught the Theatre Bug, having fended off a bout of Saturday Night Fever (the Disco Disease with embarassing weekly symptoms of dancing the night away, busting a move, etc) for some weeks now. And let me tell you, the Theatre Bug has made a nest colony in my school. There are actors and actresses who are Drama Students everywhere you look.

This production of "Midsummer" was a particularly original one because instead of being set in Greece, it was reimagined in India, as a Bollywood inspired production which changed none of the Bard's language and dialogue. The result was hysterical.

Where else could you find such quality, cheap entertainment, but in the stage of a school Auditorium? Where else could you discover such obscure acting talent as Harry Milas playing the role of Bottom and Max Wilke playing Theseus? Nowhere else but one's school Drama department. I urge you to see more amateur theatre done by School Students. You won't regret it.

The mix of Bollywood with Shakespeare wasn't horrible as you might expect. It was a wonderful take on the play, true to the original source, and it is actually conceivable that such a play could work when relocated in setting to India. It was set in Colonial India with Theseus and Hippolyta as British Lords and Ladies of the Crown. This play has more love triangles than Jerry Springer. It really does. But the plot has a lot more substance than Jerry, even "Jerry Springer the Opera" pales in comparison to Midsummer as the Bard could write a play that entertained and had substance. Also, one must truly see this play performed to fully appreciate the genius of this work of theatrical art.

Recommended is the Graphic Novel Story "A Midsummer Night's Dream" as written by Neil Gaiman for the "The Sandman" series. Read this after you have read and watched the play. You will love it even more having done so. Neil Gaiman's take on the play must be read and viewed on the page to compliment the Bard's achievement, as it is funny and it makes you think about the Faeries differently.

I give the St. Andrew's Cathedral School Drama Department Production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare" Ten "Donkey Heads" out of Ten. If I used the old system of reviewing I usually use, I would give it Five out of Five, but truly, this production deserves Double Digit Decimals for its triumph.

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