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A Midsummer Night's Dream (1996)

A boy dreams the play. Authority in Athens is shaky: Hermia rejects her father's choice, the Duke backs her father, and the Duchess sides with Hermia. Dad's choice, Demetrius, pursues ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Desmond Barrit ...
Finbar Lynch ...
Philostrate / Puck (as Barry Lynch)
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Daniel Evans ...
Emily Raymond ...
Alfred Burke ...
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Tom Snout / Fairy
Robert Gillespie ...
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Mark Letheren ...
Kenn Sabberton ...
Ann Hasson ...
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Storyline

A boy dreams the play. Authority in Athens is shaky: Hermia rejects her father's choice, the Duke backs her father, and the Duchess sides with Hermia. Dad's choice, Demetrius, pursues Hermia but is loved by Helena. When Hermia and her lover meet in the woods the next night, Helena tells Demetrius in hopes she can follow and change his mind. Also in the woods are craftsmen preparing a play, plus the fairies: the fairy rulers, Oberon and Titania, are at odds, so Oberon conjures a spell and Titania falls for a craftsman bewitched with the ears of an ass. Oberon's sprite, Puck, also tries to bring the four young lovers into compatible couples but makes an error before all is right. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Comedy | Romance

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29 November 1996 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

En skærsommernats drøm  »

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User Reviews

Creative and very English adaptation
21 February 2003 | by (Devon, UK) – See all my reviews

I just love this film. I didn't see the stage version, but this is an extremely clever adaptation of the play: a nice parallel construction where the human court is pointed up by using the same actors as the fairy court, and Bottom's friends reappearing as his fairy attendants. Desmond Barrit is brilliantly characterised, and the Mechanicals very creatively presented as English working-class (for instance, Bottom on a motor-bike combination). And we're left with no doubts that he does have sex with Titania, and donkey's ears are not all he gets from the transformation! I think it's one of the hallmarks of good Shakespearian productions that it manages to make the humour genuinely funny, and the play-within-the-play combines slapstick with genuine pathos. Ultimately, it was a very moving production, whose end (despite my being fairly hard-bitten) brought tears to my eyes with its deep nostalgia and Englishness. You are sorry to leave the world of these characters.


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