York’s Pop-up Rose and the ‘Dream’
Its not often one comes across an truly remarkable and well thought through entertainment. However, our recent visit to York’s pop-up Rose Theatre to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream was one such.
It wasn’t just a theatre. Lunchbox Theatrical Productions had created an entire village to go with a brilliantly designed and built pop-up theatre, including Romeo and Juliet’s garden, wagon entertainment, excellent food and drink, including the delicious Yorkshire Pudding Pies, and not quite enough loos.
But it was the production that was truly outstanding. I’ve seen a number of Dreams in my life, and this was certainly the best. It was theatre as it should be, dynamic, visual, energetic, comic, musical, acrobatic and participatory.
Amanda Ryan and Anthony Bunsee must take great credit for their lead roles as Hippolyta / Oberon and Theseus / Titania (and no, I haven’t muddled up the parts – the gender switch in fairy land was an interesting innovation, and it worked).
However, the cast as a whole made the play. Amy Lennox played Hermia with passion and emotion, as a slightly spoilt American it girl whilst Jordan Peters, Mark Holgate and Olivia Onyehara played Lysander, Demetrius and Helena with verve and style to make up the mixed up, muddled up foursome of the Dream.
Clare Corbett (Puck, Robin Goodfellow) and the fairies created a remarkable land of the fairies. This was no romantic, enpinked place but somewhere raw, untamed, naturalistic, a place full of energy and movement and constantly on the edge of chaos and mischief.
And finally Rina Mahoney (Peter Quince) and her collection of rude mechanicals managed to create something brilliantly comical and entertaining. Paul Hawkyard in particular must take praise for an outstanding Bottom.
A great evening. Many congratulations and thanks to the producers, director, caste and crew for a memorable evening. We hope you will be back next year.