‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ reviewed by Gordon the Optom

by December 9, 2014

 

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ children’s presentation is loosely based upon Shakespeare’s most preformed play. Now ‘IntoTheMask’ Theatre and The Drama Club are presenting it at the Phoenix Theatre Inc. The Drama Club, now celebrating three successful years of stagecraft, are presenting their multitude of ‘star crossed’ students (aged between 5 and 14 yrs.) for your delectation.

The play is about 50-minutes, with no interval. It can be seen at the Phoenix Theatre, in the Memorial Hall, 435 Carrington Street, Hamilton Hill. The shows ran Fridays and Saturdays at 8.00 pm, and there were Sunday matinees at 2.00 pm. Season ended on 7th December.

 

Talented youngster, Annie Viljoen, presented a self-penned musical prelude to the show on her flute. Annie was also one of the performing highlights as ‘the wall’ in Bottom’s play; her facial expressions had the house rolling with laughter.

 The set design (by Anne Duff, Wayne Gale and the parents) was mainly lianas of bright flowers, mingled with real bushes and plants at the edge of the stage. Some Gothic columns stood centre stage.

The Perth Waldorf School, topped up by some wonderful creations from the parents, supplied many of the costumes.

 

      The play opens with Hermia (Lily Wren), who is in love with Lysander (Toby Beck), being told by her father Egeus’ (Angus Duff) that she must marry Demetrius (Lucas Ienco). However, it is Helena (Asher Dudley / Mia Cameron) who is really in love with Demetrius.

Meanwhile, Duke Theseus of Athens (Liam Ogg) and the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta (Shelby Johnson-Browne) are going to be married. Peter Quince (Lucas Downs / Jack Blom) and his friends apply to put on a play for the wedding party, with Nick Bottom (Clarke Viljoen – superb) playing the main role of Pyramus.

In the forest, Oberon (Josef Cszechka) king of the fairies, and his queen, Titania (Daisy Watson-Rumbold), are preparing for the King’s wedding. Oberon decides to play a trick on Titania, by getting Robin ‘Puck’ Goodfellow (Rio O’Neil – very good), to create a magical juice.

Hermia and Lysander have eloped, and Helena tries to talk Demetrius into eloping too.

Quince and his band of ‘rude mechanicals’, which includes Snout (Dylan O’Shea / Annie Voljoen – well done), Flute (Declan Martin / Liam Bond), Starveling (Xavier Matier / Isaac Dickson / Aishling O’Shea) and Snug (Reuben Rivalland / Olivia Widnall) are rehearsing their play. They are terrible, but the royals like the play

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Nic Matier played Philostrate.

The Fairies include Jorja Arndt, Lola Besson, Anais Boukpeti, Eila Blom, Anwyn Callaway, Elaine Fic, Coco Hanly, Rosabella Hanly, Genevieve Kessey, Bella Kirwiin-Ward, Isla Krieser, Isabella Martin, Tiare Murphy, Anniliese Olney, Aurora Pearton, Lacey Paruscio, and Ella Paulin.

The Sprites included Hamish Beck, Tannyn Hoskin, Ava Law, Conor McDougal, Leyla O’Donnell, Floyd Reid, Troy Roncio, Indi Stalpey, Leighton Stringer, Kate and Oscar Sumich and Kayla Sweeney

 

The colourful lighting design by Alex Coutts-Smith had a tough start to the night when the bio-desk collapsed just before the audience were allowed in. This caused a 15-minute delay but, after this, the show went on full steam.

Sound design Alethea Bevilacqua, operated by Jayde Clarke

Director Alethea Bevilacqua had the children filling the stage, front of apron and the auditorium aisles. The little sprites delightfully nipping the audience members and then looking innocent when the person turned around.

The entrances and exits on children’s plays invariably have massive pileups at the wings as the kids filter off. This did not happen in this production; the children had very good stage sense and moved well. They moved around the stage with confidence. There were virtually no forgotten lines, and most spoke with excellent diction. One youngster managed to do a long complex speech faultlessly, but at triple pace. Considering the ages, the standard of the play was first-rate.

For the age groups involved, this was a quality show and the parents and adoring Grandparents just glowed with pride.