Performance Analysis of Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare

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Introduction

Midsummer Night Dream is a script written by William Shakespeare. It is categorized as a comedy play. It was written during late 15th century. The happenings depicted in the play surround the marriage of Theseus, who is Duke of Athens and his lady, Hippolyta. Events that deepen the meaning of the play are those involving an additional set of six actors who are amateurs as well as four lovers from Athens. These characters are under the control of mythical creatures known as fairies that play trickery on them. These creatures live in the forest, which forms the setting of the play.

Theatre

Globally, this comedic play is considered as one of the most infamous amongst Shakespeare’s works. Due to the reputable attention it has received over the years, I attended the play in one of the local theatres known as the Recital Hall in the Arts Building. The characters in the Play are from the “Actors from the London Stage”. This globally renowned touring theatre company is located in London. The actors are ranked as one of the best in terms of world class performances who offer the students opportunities to work with them in the classroom setting.

Acting
The main actor who presented a powerful performance was Claire Redcliffe. She is amongst the best actors at the organization currently and exemplifies the true meaning acting. In the play, she takes on the role of Titania, Hermia, Snug, Philostrate and Starvling. Her movements in the play are quick and vivid. She is able to relate with the audience and evoke emotion. She does this through illustrating prideful gestures when she takes on the role of Titania who is the queen of the fairies. She depicts mastery of facial expression. This is elaborated when she acts out the scene where the character gets into an argument with her husband who in the play is known as Oberon. In the scene where she is love struck after being enchanted, the actor elaborates the deep affection she bears for Nick Bottom through her bodily movements and facial gestures when interacting with this character of interest.

Another actor who amazed the audience through the manner in which he drew them into the play was Chris Donnelly. This actor takes on one the significant roles in the play. He acts as Nick Bottom who is perceived to be a weaver with overbearing confidence. Chris exemplifies this character and shows workmanship as he interacts with other characters in the play. The actor is very confident in his acting skills. This important trait is observed in established actors. It is also particularly imperative because the character he plays is also depicted to be overly confident. An additional aspect that makes the actor a great performer is the ability to convince the audience that Nick Bottom is self-conceited. This is because he holds the belief that he is more talented that his fellow weavers. Chris brings this aspect to the audience as he incorporates humor, which is an elemental factor in the play. He shows physical and mental inculcation of his personality with that of the characters as the play continues. He delivers a remarkable performance.

One of the actors that showed dismal performance was Jillon Jolly in her role as Helena. This character is considered central to the entire play hence excellent delivery was imperative and consequentially a determining factor to the satisfaction and enjoyment of the audience. In the play, Helena is a young lady who is deeply in love with a man known as Demetrius. She is depicted as a lover of nature and a firm believer of love. I failed to perceive Helena’s nature as acted by Jillon. She was not successful in portraying the lovesick aspect of the character. Consequentially, Jillon fails to create the poetic feeling one perceives when reading the script and watching the film. In my opinion, the actor did not fit into the role of the character hence failing to clearly elaborate on the importance of this role in the play.
Directing

Several aspects impressed the audience pertaining to presentation of the stage and the directorship of the play. Firstly, the delivery of the play was minimalistic and simplistic. The use of the abstract stage was quite appealing to the audience as they set the play in the mythical forest background where the fairies lived as explained by Shakespeare. The elevation of the stage allowed the audience to feel the effects of the lighting as the stage lit and darkened during the play. It is true to state that the amazing element about the stage was that the actors were able to connect and create cohesive interaction with the audience.

The lighting effects accentuated the active parts of the play. Through most parts, the lighting was moderated to create a fairy like aura on the stage. This atmosphere was effective in bringing out the surreal aspects of the play as elaborated by Shakespeare in the script. Use of varied hue and light accents brought out the emotions of the character and evoked the feelings of the audience especially in dramatic and humorous scenes. Instances where Nick bottom entered the stage, the lights would brighten as he brought his humorous and overconfident personality on stage. For romantic scenes, the azure accents were visible to create a milder and softer atmosphere where lovers could express emotions of affection, love sickness, melancholy, and excitement. The manipulation of the lighting to create dramatic effect and evoke the audience was effectively executed by the directing crew.

Costumes and Sound effects

The costumes worn by the actors were simplistic except for the royal characters. They were medieval in terms of fashion sense and created the atmosphere of an epic tale of mythical creatures and forsaken love. The most inspiring costumes were those worn by the fairies. They were flattering and simply exquisite bringing out the mythical beauty the creatures are said to posses. This simplistic element is also observed in the sound effects played throughout the play. The imitations of eerie silence in the forest and the somber mood of the lovers was capturec by opera and violin sounds. In dramatic scenes, fast-paced sound effects were played to create anxiety and anticipation from the audience as well as induce emotions from the characters. Slow tempos, which were used during monologues, created an astounding contrast in terms of differentiating the varied parts of the play, which ranged from drama to melancholy and suspense. This tempo was used to create a deeper meaning.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the play was refreshing and entertaining as well as educative. The experience is unforgettable. In my opinion, the actors are truly talented and were able to entertain the audience fully.

 

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