PIAF - A Midsummer Night's Dream (as you like it) - FINALE TONIGHT
On Valentines Night, I rushed to the beautiful His Majesty’s Theatre to see a conceptual production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (as you like it). The classic Shakespearian love story was depicted by two oversized and often naked puppets manipulated by 12 puppeteers in black tuxedos. I guess it was “as I liked it” but there were many moments throughout the performance where I was left scratching my head. Perhaps the idea was far too advanced for such a slow gal like me.
The show suspended in time, to allow for emphasis on each section of the play- either being the physical movements of the large puppets, the acrobatic comedians, purposely terrible and disorientated juvenile ballerinas, diligent musicians or a long Russian dialogue between a ‘sit in’ audience member, it took me a few minutes to realise they were actors (haha lifestyles of the rich and the famous). Even then, when it was slow I didn’t understand it.
As a member of the alienated audience, the Russian banter was so weird and wonderful it made the odd manipulations of the giant puppets seem almost normal. Conceptually, the performance provided great comedic relief. The primary criticism I have is that the line between the Shakespearean play, and what the production was aiming to convey was extremely vague. The play in Russian was entertaining in itself; however often I found myself misinterpreting the expressions, then referring to the surtitles caused me to fall behind with stage movements. The lines were few and far between- when the 12 tuxedos were singing to the puppets- the audience was left to themselves to decipher what was being said which was fabulous because it leaves so much to our imagination.
If the play was in English, it would not have had the same effect.
Stage set up B –
Lighting A +
Giant Inflatable penis A-
Dog actor D (d for dog hehe)
Overall Clarity of Concept B
A side note, there was a moment where the female puppet urinated into a bucket while suspended in the air. Your guess is as good as mine.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As you like it) is playing at His Majesty’s Theatre tonight for it’s finale, and tickets are moving like proverbial hot cakes.
TANTALISE YOUR SENSES/EMOTIONS/BRAINS- have a treat, have a PIAF. SM.