Megan Stodel reviews a new interpretation of a Shakespearean classic
The Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park is currently showing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As you might imagine with a play that is so frequently produced, they’ve been eager to bring a new interpretation to it, which they have done by setting it in the Traveller community. Or, as they put it on their website, their production is a “big fat gypsy telling of Shakespeare’s comedic tale”.
The production is certainly new and different, but what does the choice of direction do for the play? In a review for The F-Word, I argue that, instead of creating a sense of common ground, the interpretation is distancing, and the portrayal of a complex community is simplistic and demeaning.