A Directory of Shakespeare in Performance, 1970–1990 pp 1121-1230 | Cite as
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Only actors of the stature of William Meisle and Lee could convey the play’s central comic transition from discord to harmony Meisle’s command of his role fused drama and poetry into a powerful Oberon. Titania is almost pure poetry until her abrupt transition into the lover of Bottom. Miss McClelland handled both roles well, her voice consistently conveying its own sense of the beauty of the lines. Each role was filled superbly but Oberons is the richen The four lovers were reasonably successful Peter Michael Webter seemed restless in the colorless role of Demetrius. Joel Robertson was good as Lysander, but must project his voice more deeply into the audience. Jo Anne Jamesons Hermia was solid, although she surrendered some good poetry to her panting chase through the forest. Nancy Hamby was delightful as Helena, a gangling flapper of the Sweet Blanche Sweet era. Gary Filsinger was superb as Flute and Thisbe. Dustin Evans grew more acrobatic as Puck as the play developed and delivered his epilogue beautifully, using wide eyes to survey an audience which had moved closer to the Athenian woods than the Maine woods by play’s end. John Field’s Bottom was hilarious, but aimed at immediate effect which drew localized laughter. Bottom was not modulated into the dramatic design. The problem was most evident in the Pyramus and Thisbe playlet, so dominated by Field’s superb clowning that the lines of the court were thrown away … The play’scene, funny as it was, undercut the last scene, where the fairies slip in to bless the house and its newly married slumberers. By then, the three couples had been rendered irrelevant. (H. R. Coursen, Shakespeare Quarterly 22 ; 389)
KeywordsOpening Date York Time Christian Science Monitor Forest Scene Stage Floor
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