Shakespeare debut in Tooting? Review of a Midsummer Night's Dream
A professional theatre company has brought Shakespeare to the streets of Tooting for, quite possibly, the first time ever.
This production A Midsummer Night's Dream is an updated version responding to the environment of Tooting – set within the Tooting Common itself, explained with some garbage on the floor and a helpful Lido sign.
Tucked away down an alleyway in Tooting, Tooting Arts Club have transformed a disused studio into Titania's bower.
Director Bill Buckhurst has focused on the humour of the play, while still using traditional Shakespearean language. Modern day schoolkids play the quartet of lovers, while a local drama group play Quince and his amateur dramatic group.
Space is used inventively, and it's easy to forget you are in the limitations of the studio. There are some surprises which I won't spoil, but Buckhurst has really let his imagination run wild in this production.
It is non-stop action as the cast have to play several parts, a hard feat which they manage to pull off. Expect to find disco-dancing, fighting in real mud and outrageous costumes. Some cast members are fresh out of drama school, while Waleed Elgadi is an experienced TV actor - with each one encapsulating the audience with stellar performances.
Waleed Akhtar, Kathryn Perkins, Rachael Ofori and Declan Perring play an energetic scene during the lover's fight which has the audiences in stitches.
It's a delight being able to watch Shakespeare without having to travel into central London and this unique re-imagination won't disappoint. Go grab a ticket now and get yourself to the Broadway while it is still on.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Broadway Studios, Tooting High Street, Tooting; August 13 to September 7, doors open 7.45pm; £14; tootingartsclub.co.uk, 08456 801926.
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