A Midsummer Night's Dream At The Curve Leicester

17 August 2017

As an English Lit student you can probably guess that I'm rather familiar with the works of Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream of course is no exception. This year at uni I have studied MND in great detail, and watched multiple productions. However, in my opinion none of these compare to the production which I had the pleasure of watching at The Curve Theatre, Leicester.

Described as 'modern, mythical and mystical' the Made at Curve production did not disappoint, the energy and professionalism of the Curve young company and community actors completely captivated the audience from start to finish.

Too often Shakespeare is discounted as pretentious, high brow and exclusive, however, Nick Winston's direction has demonstrated that this is far from the case. The 70 strong ensemble and production team have carefully modernised this classic play, and in doing so succeeded in making A Midsummer Night's Dream accessible to everyone.

One delightful twist on the classic format was the use of two actors (Joel Fossard Jones - left - and Manesh Parmar - right) to play Puck, it was astounding to see how the two young actors managed to maintain perfect synchronisation throughout the whole production. I feel this added to the sense of the supernatural throughout as the pair created a hypnotising mirrored effect via their movements. This subtle yet unique change also furthered the plays themes of doubling and identity and so blended seamlessly new concepts with classic motifs.

The leads Helena (Lauren Jones), Hermia (Megan Marston), Lysander (Chris Brooks) and Demitrius (Harvey Thorpe) carried the play wonderfully, their chemistry driving forward the theme of love and romance whilst maintaining a comedic balance. Although it seems the audience's favourite characters were indeed the labourers putting on the amateur production of Pyramus and Thisbe. Each of their scenes had the audience in stitches; the use of metatheatre within the play provides many an opportunity for creativity and so it was wonderful to see the actors take on the roles in such a unique and entertaining way.

The Highlights

  • Stunning Costume Design - it was clear to see that so much care and attention to detail had gone into the intricate costume design, even close up the garments were flawless.
  • Musical Numbers - it was a pleasant surprise to hear the cast integrate contemporary music into the performance, again this created a very modern and accessible vibe, whilst the vocal talents of the fairies completely blew me away.
  • Enchanting Choreography -  The fairies again stole the stage with their mesmerising fusion of hip-hop and contemporary dance. Each pixie expertly captured the mystical atmosphere, altogether it was truly a pleasure to behold.
  • Hilarity and Atmosphere - Of course this is one of Shakespeare's comedies, and we would expect it to be performed as such. The delightful blend of physical comedy and witty word play was well received by the audience who howled with laughter throughout. Of all the versions of this play I have seen this was by far the most entertaining. The actors clearly fed off the audiences reaction, and that made it all the more enjoyable to watch. 
Overall this production expertly fused the classic with the contemporary employing a sensational blend of projection, lighting, props and costume which elevated the undeniable talent of the cast for a truly magical evening.

You can catch A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Curve Leicester until the 20th of August.
Make sure to look out for the next 'Made at Curve' productions; Scrooge and George's Marvellous Medicine later this year.


- Although my ticket to the show was courtesy of The Curve, all opinions expressed in the post remain completely honest and my own.
- All photos used in this post are credited to Pamela Raith, the official photographer for the production.

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Love, Molly xxx