Dream Drags

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM by William Shakespeare, presented by Allegoria at the Poor Alex. See listings, page 70. Rating: NN.


A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare, presented by Allegoria at the Poor Alex. See listings, page 70. Rating: NN

Rating: NN

Part of the proceeds from Allegoria’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream go to Covenant House.

That’s what I kept reminding myself as I watched this largely squandered version of Shakespeare’s popular comedy.

Director Marisa Victor has set it in today’s Toronto, with gender-bending and homelessness her points of reference. She never blends the contemporary elements with the text (Why does a Bay Street Theseus have the power to send a private-school Hermia to a nunnery? Why are the fairies clubland types?) and emphasizes surface look over story and character. If you use a drag Titania (John Wallace), define her by something beyond camp gestures. There’s nothing wrong with a dark Dream, but it’s got to resonate.

While many performances grate, a few actors stand out. Claire Calnan, though directed over the top, gives Helena some comic moments and a sense of variety. A.J. Pittis’s Bottom, with his easy delivery and humour, is the production’s greatest strength. He even manages a genuinely touching moment toward the end of this largely misguided, unmagical Dream.

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *