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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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Finbar Lynch ...
Philostrate / Puck (as Barry Lynch)
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Daniel Evans ...
Emily Raymond ...
Alfred Burke ...
Howard Crossley ...
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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Connections

Version of Ein Sommernachtstraum (1958) See more »

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A Bit Disappointing
1 April 2001 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

I would have liked to have seen this production on the stage without the introduction of a boy whose ambiguous presence is supposed to give the production its "dream-"like quality. I'm afraid, as the other reviewers here have noted, a well-intended and, for the most part, well acted version of one of the Bard's best known and most loved romps, alas, fall flat. The RSC is great but I found the presentation of Alex Jennings in the double role of Theseus and Oberon to be unconvincing. His facial expressions reminded me of one who's stepped out of the loo remarking about the lack of potty-paper. Lindsay Duncan, is lovely and fun in her double role as is the feckless Bottom given in fun by Desmond Barrit. Finbar Lynch's Puck has a darkness not often seen in other presentations but it works. My only quibble besides Mr. Jennings perpetual sneer and the wandering (as another reviewer here noted, a Macaulay Culkin look-alike) kid, is the flatness of the effects-- which I'm sure, worked wonderfully on the stage. Cross-overs into other media can be tough. All in all, an earnest albeit not wholly satisfying effort as earlier versions or the one two years later.


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