The actors excelled in their roles, mastering Shakespeare's classic comedy with ease.
Following last year’s outstanding performance of The Tempest, expectations for Rain or Shine's 2016 summer show, A Midsummer Night's Dream, were high – and once again, the Gloucestershire theatre company didn’t disappoint.
With a humble stage set up within the rustic and intimate setting of Over Barn, pleasant medieval music played while crowds of theatre-goers settled in for the first night of Rain or Shine’s Gloucestershire summer tour, with chairs and picnic blankets in tow.
Warming things up with a little pre-show juggling and circus festivities, Rain or Shine took care to cater to all ages, while creating an immersive atmosphere, performing in and around the crowd, ensuring all members of the audience were enjoying themselves.
Aside from the dazzling costumes – designed once again by the talented Jayne Lloyd – authentic props, and simple sound effects, the actors excelled in their roles, mastering Shakespeare’s classic comedy with ease – charming each other onstage, and the audience too.
The eight-strong cast swapped roles swiftly, without error or delay, effortlessly blending comedy with action, and farce with drama.
Returning for another year, Pippa Meekings demonstrated her superb comic timing, portraying the love-struck, hopeless heroine, Helena, to a tee, while Matt Ferriman, John Cooper-Evans, and Emmeline Braefield, played the tangled love interests seamlessly.
The director, Tom Jordan, should be praised for one particularly memorable scene which raised shrieks of laughter from the audience, with daring lifts and an expertly choreographed fight scene bringing the bard’s famous comedy to life.
Culminating in the famous ‘show within a show’, Rob Leetham as Bottom raised loud laughs from an appreciative audience, with slapstick comedy, balloon props and even a One Direction reference.
While perhaps ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’, Rain or Shine’s performance certainly did, boasting an uplifting and colourful adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream, cementing its reputation as one of the county’s leading theatre companies.
By Kathryn Godfrey
Friday 10 June 2016
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