Midsummer Night's Dream: Josette Simon was terrific as Titania. She managed to be both sexy, funny, and touching, which is a rare combination. When Titania recounts the various natural disasters her quarrel with Oberon have caused, Josette came across as genuinenly distressed, which I haven't seen before - in other productions that speech was either played for laughs or was slightly tedious. Nicholas Jones was a great Oberon, too, very sardonic and dry-humoured, and they played well together. Josette also made the best of the very small part of Hippolyta, mostly by pantomine. The only minus point of the entire production was for me that it strayed occasionally too close to farce (mostly with Puck - I've seen better Pucks), but luckily didn't remain there. One very good idea which was well executed by the actors: after the players have performed their play for the wedding company and started their dance, Nick Bottom (Daniel Ryan, and a wonderful Bottom he was, too), with a mixture of courage and just a faint indication of terror, invites Hippolyta to join, and after a moment of hesitation, she does (and then one by one the other aristos do, to). That Hippolyta and Titania were played by the same actress was very effective here.
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Last updated on 22nd of June 1999.