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BWW Review: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Wilton's Music Hall

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BWW Review: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Wilton's Music HallBWW Review: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Wilton's Music Hall
With Wilton's Music Hall providing the perfect backdrop for this tale of magic and mirth, Watermill Ensemble's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (directed by Paul Hart) offers up a wonderful reimagining of one of Shakespeare's most well-loved plays. This vivacious and entertaining production walks the fine line between tradition and innovation perfectly.

From Fosse-style fairies to a Billie Holiday-esque Helena, the production makes excellent use of the cast's array of impressive talents. While respecting the play's original narrative, the use of contemporary song and dance (not to mention the actor-musician element) works incredibly well to bring the story to life, making it accessible and engaging for those who may be new to Shakespeare. A big credit to the movement and musical directors, Tom Jackson Greaves and Joey Hickman respectively, who have done a wonderful job in that regard.

The stripped-back, rugged set, designed by Katie Lias, and ethereal lighting from Tom White complement the story well. And although there were some sound mishaps resulting in a few unclear lyrics, the show as a whole leaves a reasonably slick and confident impression - especially under the circumstances.

Following the unfortunate injury of Lauryn Redding, the role of Bottom was covered by Victoria Blunt, who has played the role for Watermill previously. A difficult feat for any company, but one they seem to have dealt with almost seamlessly.

The cast are strong, and there are some wonderful standout performances. Emma McDonald gives a confident and alluring performance as Tatiana, demonstrating an impressive command of Shakespeare's language, while Robyn Sinclair's youthful charm and energy, coupled with a voice from the gods, works perfectly for Helena.

The Rude Mechanicals are a true delight - providing the perfect vehicle to support the fabulous Victoria Blunt as Bottom. Unashamedly scene-stealing, Blunt's pitch-perfect performance is a comedic joy to behold. The company as a whole must be commended for achieving such a polished performance in spite of the cast change. An unknowing audience would have been hard pressed to pick out which performer had stepped in, which is a huge triumph.

Watermill's latest offering is a truly majestic, mysterious delight. Enjoyable, witty and not to be missed.

A Midsummer Night's Dream at Wilton's Music Hall until 15 February


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From This Author Laura Fuller