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June 18, 2016 / basabbott

Dream Set in the Raj

Review

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Homecoming Ipswich boy Sir Trevor Nunn is directing this play for the first time.
He chose to set it in the British Raj in 1930s India, citing the caste system, arranged marriages, several mentions of the country and its animals.
So Theseus (Matt Rawle) and Hippolyta ((Fiona Hampton) are as grand as the Mountbattens.
It works particularly well with the Rude Mechanicals, straight off an Indian street.
Bottom has seldom been as self-important or as funny in vain-glory as played by Kulvinder Ghir.
Although turbaned, the fairies do not really fit the interpretation. They are the well-drilled and behaved children, doing little fluttery hand movements, that you see in any school production.
The energy of Puck (Esh Alladi), bare-chested and in Indian breeches, and the lovers is calorie-burning just to watch.
One who stands out is Helena (Imogen Daines), reaching for drink and cig, heading for the shelf, beginning to look like her mother and aching for love.
(Thurs 16 June – Sat 9 July)

Basil Abbott

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