Dream On, West Acre

Faced with a building site, a foreman and a bricklayer, considerable lateral thinking was required to be convinced Dream On was an adaptation of Midsummer Night's Dream.

By ALISON CROOSE

Faced with a building site, a foreman and a bricklayer, considerable lateral thinking was required to be convinced Dream On was an adaptation of Midsummer Night's Dream, at West Acre Open Air Theatre.

The words and music of Roy Orbison's song In Dreams did not, at first, add much enlightenment.

But this was Shakespeare West Acre-style and gradually the building site turned into an enchanted glen, the roadsweeper metamorphosed into Puck and the shop steward transformed into Bottom.

The audience retuned their ears, and refocused their eyes and enjoyed another fun-filled Shakespeare adaptation punctuated with aptly worded 1960s' hits. Who would believe that Walking Back to Happiness and What Now My Love could produce spontaneous mirth in the midst of classic Shakespearian lines?

But that is the measure of director Andy Naylor's achievement in giving Shakespeare's work a completely new look, challenging the audience to synchronise the traditional dialogue with contemporary treatment.

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What a pity there was an anti-climax near the end in the “play within a play” when the cast had to work extra hard to maintain momentum.

There were strong performances from Issy Huckle, Jo Yorke, Nic Tidman, Pete Webb, Tom Clarke and Richard Abel.