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Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A Play for the Nation

Just Regional
Apr 27, 2016 2 mins read

Despite being one of Shakespeare’s most accessible and well-loved plays, I admit that until I found out about the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) Play for the Nation project, I knew very little of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The project is ambitious. It brings together 18 professional RSC actors with 14 different amateur theatre companies and 58 groups of 10 schoolchildren as the production tours the country to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Here in Norwich, The Common Lot were selected to play the Mechanicals, while Titania’s Fairy Train was made up of pupils from Sprowston Community High School. My interest was piqued.

As the editor of Just Sprowston magazine, it’s always good to hear about the achievements of local pupils – and this is a big one! They played their part perfectly and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t already got tickets to grab some and see for yourself how good they are.

The Common Lot also included an ex-Sprowston High student in Eve Pandolfi, who played Snug, and Sprowston resident Dan Fridd, who played Flute. Both were fantastic. Dan’s hilarious performance as Thisbe had me in stitches, while Eve’s lion was brilliant.

It goes without saying that the RSC actors were amazing, but for me the stand out performance had to be Owen Evans’ Bottom. As one half of The Nimmo Twins, expectations were high; and with his Broad Norfolk take on the script, he didn’t disappoint. I had a big grin on my face every time he came on stage, and as my first experience of A Midsummer Night’s Dream I will forever compare future Bottoms to his – I don’t think anyone will come close!

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation is at Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday, with performances each evening at  7.30pm, matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 1.30pm. To book tickets call the box office on 01603 630000 or book online at www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk.

Pictures: Topher McGrillis.

 

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