What: A Midsummer Night's
Dream by William Shakespeare.
Where: Hamilton Gardens.
When: February 15, 16, 18 at 7.30pm and February 20 at 4am.
Reviewed by: Hilary Falconer.
Maybe it's the fairies, or the theme of herb-induced altered states, a
free night's entertainment al fresco, or maybe it's just ol' Will is as
popular as ever.
Whatever the reason, Waikato people came out in force for Shakespeare
in the Gardens last night, even though the riverside setting is not as
acoustically or ergonomically conducive as other sites used in the past.
To repay them, the Slip of the Tongue Theatre Company stalwarts wove their
midsummer magic again.
Some scenes particularly appreciated by the audience were: Tania Smeaton
doing one of her love-sick fruit-loop routines as Helena, with Hermia
(Alida Steemson) having their verbal catfight and Lysander (Mark Servian)
and Demetrius (David Sutcliffe) highlighting the physical element in this
comedy of mistaken identities.
Sophie Hakaraia made a sensual Titania and Adam Pope an appropriately
The final play-within-a-play struck a chord with its spoofing of tragedies
and imbecilic coarse acting from Mark Houlahan (Bottom), E A J Wyeth (Snout)
and Adrian Holroyd (Snug).
It was wonderful to see Maori design elements fitted so logically into
the fabric of the play. We witnessed a cross-cultural interpretation of
Shakespeare, as English forest fairies and Maori fairies collaborated
in their magic to Irish music. And, Peter Caldwell's orchestra goes from
strength to strength.