6.5/10
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7 user 2 critic

A Midsummer Night's Dream (2016)

A modern re-telling of the classic fantasy drama by William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream holds a star-studded cast with euphoric effects and melodramatic storytelling.

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(adaptation), (based on the play by)
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Cast

Credited cast:
... Theseus
... Titania
... Bottom
... Oberon
... Hippolyta
... Starveling
... Snout
Elaine Paige ... Mistress Quince
... Egeus
... Demetrius
... Philostrate
... Peaseblossom
Javone Prince ... Snug
... Flute
Charlotte Dylan ... Cobweb
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Storyline

Tyrannical dictator Theseus brings his captive bride, Amazonian queen Hippolyta, to Athens for a forced, dynastic union whilst statesman Egeus sentences his daughter Hermia to death for spurning arranged marriage to Demetrius in favour of true love Lysander, with whom she escapes to the woods. Demetrius follows, along with Helena who is besotted with him. Also in the woods a group of amateur actors, including pompous Nick Bottom, are rehearsing a play to perform at the ducal wedding. All are unaware that the fairy rulers of the woods. Oberon and Titania are engaged in a feud with Oberon taking revenge on his wife, helped by the sprite Puck, which involves her falling in love with the first person she sees - namely Bottom wearing a donkey's head. The four lovers are similarly bewitched by the charm and much confusion results before order is restored and the play goes ahead, with the fairies ensuring happy endings - for those who deserve it. Written by don @ minifie-1

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TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

30 May 2016 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Sommernachtstraum  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

An interview in the UK Sunday Times revealed that actor David Tennant was originally hired to direct this TV special, but had to drop out (being replaced by David Kerr) due to personal life issues related to Tennant's wife's pregnancy. Tennant still acted unofficially as writer Russell T Davies' personal 'Shakespeare expert' during the time he was working on it. See more »

Connections

Version of The Dream (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
How to introduce young people to the wonders of the Bard
2 June 2016 | by See all my reviews

This updating of the play works beautifully I think.

I love Shakespeare and classic opera and I'm wary of modern updates - so often they are facile or irritating and get in the way of the text/score. But this was a delight: genuinely funny, lovely special effects and a real feel for the soul of the play. It wasn't perfect - occasionally the words got lost in the music or through less than perfect diction. I studied this play at school more than 50 years ago and didn't get much of the humour or the cruelty in the treatment of the characters that this production brought out.

I will want to see more traditional productions as well but will return to this one too. Well done RTD - overall it was a great 1hour 35minutes. The BBC have done us proud in the Shakespeare anniversary year with this and the wonderful Hollow Crown.


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