The Bottom Line
I can't say being English gives me an instant understanding of Shakespeare's plays so I chose to see the 2008 "re-imagined" children's performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream aimed at everyone aged 6 and over. And I'm glad I did as this was fantastic.
- An annual tradition at the Open Air Theatre Regent's Park
- As with all open air theaters, the weather can be unpredictable
- Open Air Theatre Regent's Park only runs throughout the summer months.
- Be prepared for changeable London weather.
- Read the Visitor Tips for advice to make your visit more enjoyable.
Guide Review - A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Open Air Theatre Regent's Park London
Open Air Theatre is always popular with families and I arrived to find 'fairies' dancing in the park before the gates opened. Some of the children who got dressed up for the day were chosen to come on stage. The actors walked around the auditorium before the play started welcoming guests and finding the best 'fairies'.
If you do attend a children's performance expect some audience participation. We all stood and welcomed the Duke whenever he walked on stage and I was impressed how everyone joined in.
Open Air Theatre do all they can to make each performance special so for this children's play balloons lined the entrance and a bubble machine helped with the magical setting.
I didn't know the story(!) so I simply read the synopsis in the theater program and that gave me enough to follow what was happening, along with the excellent storyteller, Dale Superville. Superville, whose main character was Bottom, was the star of the show. He has an amazing talent for entertaining and his comedy style is popular with children and adults. His description of who loves who at the start of the play with hilarious. And, let's be honest, what child wouldn't enjoy a play with a character called Bottom?!
Open Air Theatre Regent's Park often uses a very simple set but always has stunning costumes. The small cast for this play (only six actors) had many costume changes and remained believable in all roles. A clever idea of toy soldiers and dolls was used for the lead characters and this added a giggle-some dimension whenever they moved about the stage.
The final scene at the Duke's wedding had the audience crying with laughter. Not only from the comedy acting but from the young boys who played the wall and moonlight. The lad playing the moonlight was swinging his lantern so much we were in hysterics. They couldn't have planned it better.