Roughcast’s rumbustious romp of A Midsummer Night’s Dream features a scene-stealing, marvellously exuberant Bottom

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

RoughCast Theatre Company has never been afraid to take on challenging writing, tackling everything from Ibsen to Orton, and in their latest production they take on that most formidable of oxymorons, the Shakespeare Comedy.

Despite being one of his most popular plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is uneven and episodic – an odd mix of the romantic and the fantastical that arguably outstays its welcome. Given those challenges, RoughCast did a remarkably good job of presenting a coherent narrative wrapped up within a rumbustious romp.  For once we saw age appropriate leads, as Anna Brinkley, Emily Winter, Leon Bedwell and Louis Salt presented not so much star crossed lovers as petulant, disaffected youths, while solid support from Roughcast regulars Cathy Edwards-Gill, Simon Evans and Peter Long gave Joe Edwards-Gill the necessary elbow room for a scene-stealing, marvellously exuberant Bottom.

Together with the other mechanicals, he managed to turn the closing play within a play into a surprising highlight, training the spotlight on his band of players in a hilariously terrible drama reminiscent of Robert Cox’s reworked Droll. We even got a closing jig, in a production that reinvigorated a play that can sometimes seem too familiar.

By David Vass