Set in the woods and featuring a trio of winning comic storylines, A Midsummer Night's Dream is a favourite Shakespeare for outdoor production.
You may think you know the mismatched quartet of lovers, but you've never seen them as laugh-out-loud sexual as director David Ferry 's made them in the Resurgence Theatre production now running in Newmarket.
The pairs of lovers are like adolescents in heat, never near each other without their hormones going off the scale. The guys become randy tomcats and slobbering hounds; the somewhat more modest women still throw themselves at the men.
The result is a series of broad, funny scenes boisterously played by Maev Beaty , Tim Campbell , Christopher Morris and Irene Poole .
The fairies, played with a Caribbean touch, are also memorable, with Lisa Codrington a rubber-limbed Puck, Jamie Robinson an Oberon with a sadistic streak and the marvellous Cara Ricketts an imperious, emotionally rich Titania. She's also a standout as Hippolita, more sympathetic than usual.
The mechanicals usually steal the show, but here they're hit-and-miss. The best work comes from Brendan Gall as a comic beanpole of a Flute (and funnier in drag as Thisbe) and Alon Nashman as the micro-managing Peter Quince. Stuart Wiber plays Snug effectively, but he's more impressive as various fairies in Titania's court. Art Hindle 's Bottom generates little fun or humour.
Too bad Ferry's frame for the story doesn't work. A young boy ( Robert Dunsmore-Van Wart ) worries about his parents' marital woes, falls asleep and "dreams" the play, populating it with people he knows and wandering through it himself as the changeling child and other characters. It's suggestive in theory, unrealized in production. See Out of Town, page 83.