JWR Articles: Live Event - A Midsummer Night's Dream (Director: Chris Abraham) - June 2, 2014
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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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Surely that was also a dream, wasn’t it?

Note to copy editor: Sorry to say, I won’t be able to file the usual review for my last night at the first set of openings here at the Stratford Festival.

Earlier in the day, I discovered that my over-enthusiastic chambermaid tossed my two remaining theatre tickets. No worries, the box office was efficiency itself, replacing my entry to Alice Through the Looking-Glass (cross-reference below) in seconds.

But then something went terribly wrong with Saturday night’s performance. I could have sworn I had made my way to the Festival Theatre, although I noticed an extra-large smile from the ticket attendant as he zapped my admission pass. Once inside, I discovered that I was actually crashing a same-sex, interracial wedding reception—already well in progress—and as you know, I hate being late for anything.

As you are also aware, I have no problem at all with same-sex anything, but, of course, I didn’t have a present so felt awkward staying around. The happy couple were vaguely familiar to me, so perhaps I’d somehow misplaced the invite (if it had been electronic, it might still be stuck in my junk folder…). Looking about, I realized I didn’t know many others in the verdant backyard (you recall my daughter’s wedding reception also took place in a backyard—thank god there were tents with floorboards when the heavens opened!—so I understood the dynamics straight off).

I had been expecting William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream but most of the wedding party’s getups and the DJ’s charts didn’t look or sound very Bard-like.

Sure, there were lots of speeches—but it appeared soon after I arrived that the reception planners were completely focussed on treating the groom and groom to a history of comedy including stand-up, pratfalls, water falls, odd outfits, bawdiness, food fight, sight gags and groaners.

I could tell I was there by mistake because quite a few of the other guests were laughing their asses off—especially when one of the loudest uncles sprouted extra-furry whiskers, long ears and a tail between his legs (at least that’s what I hope it was!).

Like most weddings, there were a lot of kids present and I guess their parents had teamed up beforehand since all of the little darlings were decked out with wings that really looked fabulous and when the DJ did his thing they obviously knew every beat and danced up a storm.

And what a tactless groomsmaid there was! Imagine wearing a sleeveless white gown (he didn’t have any aura of being a virgin…) and then making out with Donkey Face! Some people have no shame!

Nonetheless, not wanting to be as rude as some of the other guests, I decided to stay, figuring that at least there was no intentional (it sure looked like the donkey was a dress-up ass wanabe) bestiality on the menu.

Almost in tandem with that awful thought, a collared bitch started humping the Wizard of Oz-like, speech-impaired lion!

Fortunately, the kids didn’t seem to be aware of that brief moment of critters doing what comes, er, naturally. (Earlier, what reminded me of the consummation scene in Brokeback Mountaincross-reference below—was mercifully blocked from view by the youngest amongst us by a pop-up tent: metaphors everywhere).

Now as I write this, I am starting to think that I must have had my own Midsummer Night’s Dream and will soon wake up and still get to see the marvellous saga of love and magic more or less as Shakespeare intended. Please stand by. JWR

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Playwright - William Shakespeare
Director - Chris Abraham
Further information, future screening/performance/exhibition dates,
purchase information, production sponsors:
Festival Theatre - Stratford Stratford Festival
Cross-reference(s): Please click on the image link(s) below
for related work:

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