After hearing much acclaim of Joe Hill-Gibbons’ production of Measure for Measure at the Young Vic, I had to get a ticket when it was announced he was directing my favourite Shakespeare play. While the play has it’s classic comedic moments along with a fantastic cast; I did find myself wondering what the point was of some of the choices made.
The play is definitely updated to a modern taste. There’s one scene where Bottom sings I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith to Titania. I guess maybe it was for comedic effect but I was just confused. I was also confused at the start of the play when the cast perform a possibly Latin song before they get into the text. Although this is probably my ignorance speaking.
The play is certainly funny. Lloyd Hutchinson was incredibly funny as a sarcastic & sardonic Puck. I also thought Leo Bill as Bottom was particularly outstanding. His transformation into an ass was quite stripped back than I thought it would be – a pair of nude coloured tights and a water bottle rather than a head piece/prosthetic.I was surprised that I was more invested in Bottom’s story line rather than the four lovers as I usually do. One moment during Lysander/Hermia’s scene where they rest on a nearby bank where she tells him to lie off, he basically forces himself on her to the point where she has to scream at him for him to go away. And I found it such an unnecessary plot device.
Joe Hill-Gibbons’ production is certainly a unique take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream that made me laugh but also left me feeling very confused about what I had watched. It’s currently running at the Young Vic until 1st April. You can find more details at http://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/A-Midsummer-Nights-Dream
Until next time,