The Arts

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Soulpepper
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Rick Roberts
Performed by Derek Boyes, Ins Choi, Oliver Dennis, Michael Hanrahan, John Jarvis, Trish Lindström, Abena Malika, Gregory Prest, Karen Rae, Michael Ross, Michael Simpson, Brendan Wall and William Webster
Young Centre
Run began Feb. 17.

Why is Soulpepper doing Shakespeare?

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is not as bad as some of the other Shakespearian attempts. In fact, there are some interesting directorial choices by Rick Roberts, himself a gifted actor. But any way you slice it, the acting is so uneven – always the main problem – that it becomes downright irritating.

The large cast allows Soulpepper a chance to integrate some of its Academy Artists, or the young talent that they are nurturing. Some are good and some not so good.

First of all, the women are virtually hopeless, particularly Abena Malika as Hermia and Karen Rae as Helena. There are some good, experienced actors who play the Mechanicals, but they try too hard to be funny. Overall, the best performances come from Oliver Dennis as Bottom, and especially Mike Ross as Lysander.

Designer Ken MacKenzie’s gloomy set and costumes are not conducive to magic.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream continues at the Young Centre.

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