8-9 June 2014
Reviewed by Ann Durrell
A Midsummer Night’s Dream revolves around three stories. Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies have fallen out due to Titania’s refusal to hand over a changeling to become Oberon’s henchman. Oberon enlist the help of Puk, a jester like character, to have his revenge on his wife and along the way meddling in the lives of the mortals he encounters in the woods along the way.
Hermia is in love with Lysander but she has been promised in marriage by her father Demetrius, with who Helena is in love, feelings he does not reciprocate.
We then have a group of actors who are putting on a play to celebrate the wedding of the Duke who include Nick Bottom, a confident individual who wishes to be centre of attention.
This adaptation by Krazy Kat Theatre company incorporates sign language and is performed by three actors assisted by a collection of puppets and is aimed at ages 4 to 11.
The set was kept simple with fabric screens to enable quick change and pedestals for the stars (puppets) to sit on. The roles of the four lovers and Titania’s changeling were all played by plush puppets whilst Puk was a wooden puppet. There were sparkling fairies who attached themselves to Bottom’s ears after he had been put under a spell by Puk. I think my favourite costume had to be the lion, I have never seen such an inventive use of yellow bathroom mats!
I think that Krazy Kat’s production was an ideal way to get children in interested in Shakespeare from an early age. Whilst it kept to the original script it was made it very light-hearted with sprinkles of silliness to keep the younger (and some of us older) audience members engaged. I also really give credit to the theatre company for incorporating sign language, opening up theatre to a wider audience.
I really enjoyed the show and all of the children in the audience seemed enthralled throughout. I liked the way that the actors waited with some of the puppets by the door at the end to say goodbye to all the children.
A clever production and well directed.
This play was held in the Studio Theatre at The Lowry, the venue was comfortable apart from the fact there was no air conditioning as in the other theatres and it was a very warm day. Secure parking is available at The Lowry Outlet Mall which is part of the same complex, a big bonus is that if you spend over £5 in any of the shops or restaurants in The Lowry Outlet Mall they will validate your car park ticket for up to 4 hours.
Touring until 21 June 2014. For more information visit www.krazykattheatre.co.uk.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000