Staging one of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays is always a dilemma: play it straight or attempt to reinvent? This youth theatre production mostly keeps it simple, allowing some great performances to take centre stage.
James Taylor steals it as superbly awkward rude mechanical Francis Flute, Molly Potter is a delightful mischievous Puck, while Zak Ravenill channels Russell Brand as Bottom.
The four Athenian lovers (Lily Hazell, Euan Coyle, William Gray, Imogen Mardell) really come alive in the slapstick of their bewitched affections, though the direction could encourage more pace in the opening scenes.
Jacob Bell and Isobel Reed are suitably stately in their dual roles of temporal and fairy royalty. Callum Stirling, Ella Broom, Carys Fowler and Lydia Gardener support well, most taking multiple parts.
If you’re looking for a winter’s tale, this is a warm and fun production – and a great antidote to pantomime.