It had been a long time since I read William [tag]Shakespeare[/tag]’s romantic comedy – ‘A [tag]Midsummer Night’s Dream[/tag]’. Yesterday I saw the play at the Canadian Stage ([tag]Canstage[/tag]) season. The show runs daily at High Park, in an open-to-air setting.
I’d read the play centuries ago and I had to read the plot summary yesterday again to revive the whole thing. I hadn’t seen it being performed live before, so I was really excited. My favorite character, [tag]Puck[/tag] (Robin Goodfellow servant to Oberon, King of fairies) was played amazingly by this dude whose name I unfortunately don’t know. His closing speech was delivered perfectly:
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
The rest of the characters were also outstanding. I loved the way the director blended Caribbean hip hop, synthesizer music, cellphones and skateboards into the play. It was done in a way that didn’t offend my friend who usually swears at anything that is a fusion (especially old Hindi songs that are remixed), so I have a reason to believe that it was a remarkable balance. Being an open stage, people arrived early and grab strategically advantageous places. I was late to arrive, barely 2 minutes before the play started (don’t blame me, I’m new to the city) but I found a place in the very first row (my friends were just a row behind). It was so close to the stage that I thought I was a part of the play! Bruce has more interesting things to say.
I have no clue how anyone could remember Shakespeare’s lines. But then, these guys perform daily, and for weeks together. I bet their conversational English is also affected! There is indeed no better reward for a stage performer than the audience giving a thunderous applause. I thought I could clearly see a sense of achievement and satisfaction in the eyes of all characters when they saw us clapping and cheering.
Looking forward to more events this summer, this one was awesome 🙂