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‘I have had a most rare vision’

Posted by: Abigail Nutland and Elena Pehlivanova - 21 June 2024 - èAV London - Read time: 1 minute

(English trip to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at The Wilton’s Theatre)

On the 18th of April, èAV English literature students went to see a production of A Midsummer-Night’s Dream by the Flabbergast Company at the Wilton’s Theatre. The company was conceived to make exciting theatre rooted in physicality and devising with a belief that all theatre should be vital, engaging and accessible. The trip was organised for Year 11 GCSE students to visualise their Drama set text. In addition, several Year 12 students joined the group to further their knowledge and understanding of Shakespearean drama, particularly as their set text (The Tempest) has many similar themes as A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Wilton’s Theatre was a music hall in the Victorian era and has retained its authentic appearance with unaltered structure and decor. The production was performed by a small cast of 8 actors, who, due to the large number of characters, performed multiple roles. This was done creatively in the portrayal of the “rude mechanicals,” who wore masks in their tradesmen roles, as well as the minor fairies who carried little animal skulls.

The play, despite the small cast, was able to express the plot of the play with clarity, and the poetry was delivered well. Only Act V of the play (a large scene) was adjusted due to the limited number of actors. This was done through the audience being included as the Athenian nobles as we watched the “rude mechanicals” acting out their comical portrayal of the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe which garnered tears of laughter from the audience. Each of the actors brought individuality to the characters and exaggerated the farcical aspects of the play, bordering on absurd; examples of this included a decerped Egeus and Oberon the King of the Fairies on stilts! We enjoyed the production immensely, both as literature students and as an approachable Shakespeare play. We recommend that others go and see the entertaining performance!!