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Blewbury Players - A Midsummer Night's Dream

19th to 22nd July 2000.

The production was directed by Jack Murphy, a Movement Director at The National Theatre, who has brought his exhilarating ideas and motivation to the Players. The setting and costumes are by Tracy Avis and it was between the two of them that the Dream Catcher idea became involved. Jack is 'catching the Dream' for our audience and for us, and we hope you will enjoy the experience.

Review from the Newbury Weekly News.

A little bit of magic

'A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM', performed by Blewbury Players, at the Garden Theatre, Blewbury, from July 19 to 22

On a fine summer’s evening, Blewbury’s open air Garden Theatre adds some extra magic to Shakespeare’s Dream; an ideal play for the setting, as so much of it takes place outdoors.

The Dream is a fairy tale and a comedy, but the humour of Peter Quince’s crew is often offset against the rather stodgy saga of the lovers. In Blewbury Players’ production, however, the lovers gave a breathtaking display of knockabout comedy (literally!) which gave the whole show a tremendous pace. Helena, played by Gill Bailey, and Hermia (Maria Robertson) were two feisty women, who showed Demetrius (James Turpin) and Lysander (Bart Lee) who were the bosses. 

Erica Harley was an intense Titania; Steve White as Oberon was a bit of a surprise – very touchy-feely, especially with Puck, but generally lively, sprightly and slightly camp. More like the jester than the king. Jack Trewhella was an agile and mischievous Puck, a very promising young actor but he needed to speak a bit more slowly.

The mechanicals were played by Mike Allen (Quince), Tony Loy (Bottom), Finn Clark (Flute), Ron Freeborn (Snout), Pres Wells (Snug) and Marion Armstrong (Starveling). They worked well together and their individual characters stood out – Pres Wells was a splendidly diffident lion, and Tony Loy had just the right combination of bluster and bravado. In fact director Jack Murphy succeeded in giving very distinct characterisation to all the cast.

Ed Trewhella was an authoritative Theseus, and Jolyon Kay gave a splendidly plummy portrayal of Philostrate the butler.

The three dances were effective and well executed; the fairies’ dance in particular added to the magic of the play.

The final scene with the Pyramus and Thisbe play was hilarious, and we had a great evening’s entertainment. It was an exciting production from which my lasting impression was the energy and humour of the scenes with the lovers.