Review: Northern Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Northern Ballet dancer Kevin Poeung in David Nixon's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo Emma Kauldhar. Northern Ballet dancer Kevin Poeung in David Nixon's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo Emma Kauldhar.

Emma Lee
Thursday, May 15, 2014
4:17 PM

Northern Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Norwich Theatre Royal

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The course of true love never did run smooth. And Shakespeare’s tale of romantic entanglements is given another twist in Northern Ballet artistic director David Nixon’s inspired take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Set in the 1940s, a touring ballet company is preparing for a production of Romeo and Juliet.

At the final rehearsal, emotions run high as artistic temperaments and romantic affections clash.

The company – Theseus (Hironao Takahashi), Hippolyta (Antoinette Brooks-Daw), Hermia (Martha Leebolt), Lysander (Javier Torres), Helena (Pippa Moore) and Demetrius (Tobias Batley) – catches the overnight sleeper to Edinburgh, where they are due to perform.

When the train enters a tunnel and Theseus drifts into a dream, monochrome reality becomes a Technicolor dreamscape.

He becomes Oberon, king of the fairies. Warring with his queen, Titania, he enlists his henchman Puck (Kevin Poeung) to make mischief with the group’s hearts: affections shift and farce ensues – with hapless carpenter Nick Bottom (Darren Goldsmith) getting drawn into the mayhem.

This production, soundtracked by the music of Mendelssohn and Brahams played live by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia, is a joy – especially the middle act dream sequence.

Nixon has choreographed the romantic confusion very cleverly. There are some truly breathtaking manoeuvres delivered by a seriously talented cast.

Go and be spellbound.

The ballet runs until Saturday

For more Norfolk and Norwich Festival reviews click here

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