I expected a traditional production of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, but instead the Chicago Shakespeare Company went Victorian with a tip of the hat to Freud. And while a lot of updates and creative takes don’t work, this one did. I loved the set and the costumes. All the main characters wore various lavender hues, though each had a distinct outfit. The result was beautiful. I wasn’t crazy about the costumes of the forest nymphs, striped pajamas and fantastic headdresses with say 100 butterflies or 100 flowers sticking up. I get that they should be otherworldly, but this choice fell flat for me. Even worse was the kind of the faeries, Oberon, who was decked out in a puffy orange skirt and he had a wig of long black hair that reminded me of Heian era Japan.
While this is one of Shakespeare’s lightest plays, it still has the Bard’s imprint and the language is just wonderful to take in. Yes, it’s a ultra-light, but it’s nice to see Shakespeare can have such fun. It’s a perfect play to show we should all “get over ourselves.”
The acting is wonderful and the idea of bring Freud in to this dream was cheeky but not over powerful.
- Book #75: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (jillianreadsbooks2.wordpress.com)
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- Christina Ricci for off-Broadway ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (digitalspy.co.uk)
- To those reading “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (studyingliterature.wordpress.com)