This adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is an eclectic mix of genres that are a wonderful blend of the old and the modern, fiction, Shakespeare and folklore, English and Welsh, dance, music and drama, with a strong comical thread woven throughout. We thoroughly enjoyed every moment and would definitely recommend it to anyone.
Disclosure - we were invited to the press evening to watch the show and for the purpose of this review. All opinions are honest and our own.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is showing from the 14th - 29th October 2022 and tickets start at just £8.
The Sherman Theatre
I've said it many times, The Sherman is one of my favourite theatres of all time. Fiercely grounded in the local community and a staunch supporter of local talent and the Welsh language, their ethos is to be admired. Situated in the Cathays area of Cardiff, it is easy to get to by train or car (although parking can be tricky). There is a vibrant cafe / bar and the atmosphere is always lively. It's a place for friends to catch up, have a drink and enjoy the theatre and a good night out.
The stage for A Midsummer Night's Dream is set with a glamorous looking but empty set, dripping with gold and looking very elegant. The scene is changed throughout using the clever tool of lighting, with lights, shadows and patterns working magic upon the eyes to transport us into different locations.
The story follows Hermia and Lysanna, who are deeply in love with each other (see what they have done here?) as they attempt to escape the draconian Athenian laws and the edict of Hermia's father that she will marry Demetrius, who is loved and adored not by Hermia, but by her friend Helena.
Their attempted escape takes them into the woods where they become unwilling victims of magic and enchantment as they cross paths with The Fairy Queen and her fairy servant Puck. Meanwhile a group of working men practising a play get caught in the crossfire too.
Here we see a modern interpretation of the Shakespeare classic. Classic themes of arranged marriage are entwined with modern issues, with the resounding message being that you should love who you love and no one should tell you otherwise.
There is music and dancing, modern songs and some hilarious comic moments from Bottom (Sion Pritchard) and also Sion Ifan as Oberon. There was definitely a lot of laughter coming from the audience!
The Welsh language is beautifully intertwined into this bilingual performance. Puck (Leah Gaffey) and Titania (Nia Roberts) especially brought a really impressive and beautiful language to life on stage and this was a real highlight. Welsh language parts are captioned for non-speakers like me!
This is a wonderfully magic and funny adaptation of one of my favourite Shakespeare plays and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I took my 11 year old daughter with me and because of some of the innuendo and language I don't think it would have been suitable for anyone younger, but she thoroughly enjoyed it too - laughing off her chair at some points and eyes wide in wonder at other parts. A real highlight of our week for sure, it provoked an interesting and intellectual conversation on the way home about a variety of things from love to the Welsh language.
What I love about The Sherman is how accessible it is. It is disabled access friendly and there are often a variety of performances including relaxed, audio described, captioned and BSL interpreted. They also have the cost of living crisis close in mind and are working to try to ensure that cost of tickets is still in reach of as many people as possible...
The price of everything seems to be going up at the moment and we want to ensure that the cost of tickets is in reach of as many people as possible:
- Under 25s can see A Midsummer Night’s Dream for half price.
- 2 Adults (over 25) and 2 people Under 25 can see A Midsummer Night’s Dream from under £50 (subject to availability).
- With our Pay What You Can Previews for this show you can pay whatever works for you.
- Break down the cost of your tickets for the show into two equal payments, one when you book and the other a week before the performance.