BBCs Midsummer Night’s Dream


Back in 2008, I was fortunate enough to see Midsummer Night’s Dream live in Stratford-upon-Avon. When I say fortune I mean the RSC was playing three Shakespeare plays at the same time and I traveled to there to see Hamlet with David Tennant.

Last summer when I read that Russel T. Davies was creating a version of the play for BBC and that there were a lot of known British actors in it, I almost couldn’t wait for it to be shown on TV. The wait began… I was hoping that they would show it soon after the celebration of 400 years Shakespeare but still one month of waiting had to be done.

Waiting for this adaptation of the bard’s work was worth it. Russel T Davies really did his best in bringing the world of Oberon and Titania to live and I loved every second of the scenes in Fairyland. I really enjoyed the costumes and all the wicked and silly things the fairies get up to.

I thought it very ingenious setting Theseus’s Athens as a dictatorship, it really did look similar to nazi Germany. And although I love John Hannah as an actor, I didn’t feel sad for his characters demise at the end.

For those who don’t know what the play is about. It all revolves around a set of lovers, actors and fairies.

The lovers:

There is young Lysander and Hermia. Their love is not approved by her father, so they decide to leave the city and travel trough the forest to Lysanders aunt.

Demetrius in the beginning of the play is also in love with Hermia. But after all the silly games the fairies (Puck) play on him, he falls in love with Hermia’s friend Helena. She has been in love with him for ages.

I don’t know in which way you can say that Theseus and Hippolyta are lovers. In this version, it does seem that Hippolyta has been captured and forced into marriage by Theseus.

The actors:

These are the actors in the play that is performed within the play. This is such a Shakespearean thing to do. In this case, it means that Bottom is played by Matt Lucas and Snout is played by Bernard Cribbins. Bottom is an ass of a man and yes that will be his appearance for part of his journey in the forest.

The fairies:

These frivolous little sprites, their king being Oberon and their queen Titania. As Titania disobeys her husband he concocts a ploy with the help of Puck to make her see sense.  There is a flower in the forest that contains a magical juice that makes people fall madly in love with the first creature they encounter.

During the play and especially after the first 20 minutes I had a feeling that any moment now the Doctor could burst in.  The whole adaptation felt like a BBC show and especially one from the hand of RTD.

So all geeks around if you loved Joss Whedon’s “Much ado about nothing” than you should put RTDs “Midsummer night’s dream” on you list. It’s a big geekfest and just one big fun story to watch!


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