A Dream devoid of magic: Garsington’s RSC collaboration disappoints

Shakespeare/Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream **

Forbes Masson (Bottom) and Oliver Johnstone (Puck) © Mark Douet

Forbes Masson (Bottom) and Oliver Johnstone (Puck)
© Mark Douet

Garsington Opera, 16th July 2015

Emerging from Garsington Opera’s pavilion at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we were greeted by enchanting lanterns, illuminating our pathway across the lawns to retrieve our picnic hampers. Unfortunately, this magical vision far outstripped anything in the previous three and a half hours traffic on the stage. Garsington’s first collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company married an abridgement of Shakespeare’s play with Mendelssohn’s incidental music, a union which promised much but which stumbled awkwardly, leaving me unable to indulge Puck’s plea in his epilogue “to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue”.

Read the full review on Bachtrack.

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