A Midsummer Nights Dream is possibly one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays and one I personally love.
Off-Springers bring this tale to life with the Shakespeare 4 kidz version which includes some delightful melodies and funny moments.
The cast who appear to be quite young seem quite at home with ‘the Bards’ work and many have delightful singing voices. I wish a few more looked up towards the back of the auditorium when they sang rather than at the front row or the ground then we would get the benefit of seeing their lovely faces.
The costumes were lovely – especially all the fairies. I am not sure if they were made or hired but congratulations to the wardrobe team. The set also was just right giving height and lots of opportunities for some lovely pictures.
With so many parts in a production like this, it’s difficult to pick out just a few but there were several who deserve a mention. Sicily Riordan as Helena has a lovely voice and played the heartbroken Helena with conviction and Hermia played by Charlotte Podd was also very sweet. The girls duet ‘Demetrius and Me’ was particularly enjoyable. Matt Scott as Bottom gave a great performance particularly when paired with Lizzy Newsome as Titania – they both had good stage presence. Rose Gowen as Puck flew around the stage as the mischievous sprite, some of her diction made it difficult to hear everything she said and sung but she had just the right level of naughtiness for the character.
The Mechanicals were great fun throughout the show including their song ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ and gave some great laughs for the audience – James Birchmore as Francis Flute/Thisbe – complete with his exploding bosoms, Max Eagle as Peter Quince, Amy Smethurst as Robin Starveling, Esther Hemmings as Snug the Joiner who made a great Lion but it was Abbie Gansbuehler as Tom Snout/The Wall who stood out for me throughout the show. Every time she was on stage she shone, she never stopped working and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Certainly, she is one to watch for the future.
There were so many great characterisations from the company and it really worked well with the 4 piece band which gave just the right backing to the musical numbers.
For an opening night, there were a few little hiccups – slippery floors and swords with a mind of their own but this just added to the production and the cast dealt with these minor issues extremely well.
The pure energy and enthusiasm of the cast is infectious and they deserve great audiences. Tickets are available from 01245 606505 or www.chelmsford.gov.uk/theatres