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MIDSUMMER DREAMS @ Heathcote Cultural Precinct gets 8/10


M
idsummer Dreams @ Heathcote Cultural Precinct 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

8/10

What comes to mind when thinking about Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Ethereal fairies, star-crossed lovers and fantastical settings? All these and so much more can be found at Midsummer Dreams.

Presented by Modicum Theatre Perth at FRINGE WORLD 2020, Midsummer Dreams is like wandering through the dreams of someone who is intimately familiar with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, presumably director Steph Ferguson. As far as contemporary reimaginings of Shakespeare’s works go, this is a very strong one. The promenade style of theatre lets the audience walk through the spaces, taking things in at their own pace. And there is a lot to take in. Taking over one of the buildings in the Heathcote Cultural Precinct, there are three larger performance spaces and many smaller, more intimate spaces inside, as well as the roaming spaces outside.

Lovingly crafted by set designer Jamie Cook, there are details to find in every room. The map provided is a little confusing, but it isn’t too difficult to navigate and there are friendly ushers around to help you find your way. An absolute stand-out is Titania’s (Andrea Kendrick) Bower, a space of complete superiority where you have to seek her out and even then, she may not deign to see you. Another is the Powder Room, a plush, vain space for the lovers with quiet ramblings about drunken nights out playing for you to sit and listen to.

Part of the beauty of this show is a fresh, cohesive design. From Cooks’ set, to the costumes by Aaron Hamilton and Felix Camponovo, through to Talei Macbeths’ makeup design, everything fits together to make it feel more and more like a fever dream. Just wait for the black lights.

The rest of the heart of this show comes from the ensemble. Everyone has come together to create something magical, literally. Almost everyone in the cast and crew is wearing many hats, making this a shining example of community theatre at its finest.

There is something for everyone here. If you’re unfamiliar with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, take Ferguson’s suggestion and just follow whatever takes your fancy. If you are familiar, find the parts of the story you like and see what fun changes have been made. Maybe don’t take the little ones though, as it does have an M rating.

ZENNA NEWMAN

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