Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

by William Shakespeare, circa 1595,
directed by Elijah Moshinsky, 1981

One of the darkest productions of this great play, both in its lighting scheme and mood, Moshinsky’s production, made as part of the BBC series produced by Jonathan Miller, it deals best with the faeries, which is reflected in the casting of the strongest actors in the three main roles: Peter McEnery as Oberon, Helen Mirren as Titania, and Phil Daniels as Robin Goodfellow or Puck.  What it lacks is a great Bottom.  (Think of James Cagney in Max Reinhardt’s film, sexy, vain, and gloriously queer as Pyramus, in his love making with Joe E Brown’s Thisbe.)   Daniels, however, makes up for that lack by being the most sexually mischievous Puck ever, feeling up all four of the lovers lost in the wood, boys and girls alike, without ever being seen.

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