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27 November 2014

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June 2005
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Jamie Rann (Demetrius) and Pia FitzGerald (Helena)
Jamie Rann (Demetrius) and Pia FitzGerald (Helena)

Merton Floats are back with their latest production of A Midsummer's Night Dream.

7th - 11th of June
with a matinee on Saturday at 2pm.



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By Niels Eernink and Martha Havenith

This brilliantly executed play couldn't have taken place in a more ideal setting, an Oxfordian one that is. Imagine relaxing on a well mown lawn with a bottle of wine and then making your way over to the outdoor stage in a very attractive corner of the Merton College Gardens to find the actors in beautiful costumes already "in pose" on stage.

The classic Shakespeare story of love lost and found after madness, confusion and mayhem in the world of kings and queens elves and mortals is unleashed with a dash of acting magic.

It was very apparent from the start that the Merton Floats and Primavera theatre company weren't going to dwell unnecessarily on the complexity of Shakesperean poetry. They approached the play with a sense for exact timing and the prominence of physical acting kept the play appropriately "lighthearted". Even the parts of the text that would have invited some self-pitying moaning about the tragedy of unrequited love - like Helena's anger at everyone seemingly making fun of her broken heart - were delivered with witty self-irony.

The mix-ups and confusions between the three couples in the centre of the play - two mortals and one elven - unfold with a speed that really gives you the feeling that Midsummer really is the time where anything can happen.
The performance did very much focus on the comedy part of the play. The characters that were created for pure comedy - like the elven servant Puck - were played with a relish and rigour that gripped the audience and had it to tears of laughter at times. Bottom Weaver has possibly never before played with such childish enthusiasm and even an amazingly Cockney accent. The 'Workman's Play' in full at the end was worth the ticket alone. What a corker of an ending.

Maybe this stunning summer weather isn't going to last, so don't hesitate to go and see this wonderful play in all the right circumstances.

Tickets are available on the door or in advance via Tickets Oxford (01865 305 305,

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