REVIEW: WODS’ foray into drama is a triumph with Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

PUBLISHED: 11:03 03 August 2018

WODS will perform A Midsummer Night's Dream in August. Picture: Ben Hurst

WODS will perform A Midsummer Night's Dream in August. Picture: Ben Hurst

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Fairies have cast a magic spell over Weston-super-Mare’s Tropicana, and left behind a Worle drama group’s hilarious, joyful and original slant on Shakespeare.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is being performed by WODS. Picture: Stewart McPhersonA Midsummer Night's Dream is being performed by WODS. Picture: Stewart McPherson

Worle Operatic and Dramatic Society (WODS) is making its first foray into drama since 1980 with its production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and it is a triumph.

The group has taken a Shakespeare play, and twisted it in places to provide moments of modern humour. Traditional Shakespeare fans should not worry, however – this is no modern version which ditches the Bard’s words. Instead, it plays with his themes and applies gentle licks of 2018 hilarity, and a fabulous soundtrack.

The cast have the impeccable comic timing which is so needed in a Shakespeare comedy such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That timing is needed even more so when this play has dared to go so off-piste at times.

Yet from subtle comic, offhand remarks to physical comedy, the actors treat this famous production with due respect and provide something fresh at the same time.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is being performed by WODS. Picture: Stewart McPhersonA Midsummer Night's Dream is being performed by WODS. Picture: Stewart McPherson

Shakespeare can be daunting to those who may not have had any contact with it since school, but the plot is easy to follow, and the dialogue is not as heavy as in some of the tragedies.

It follows the adventures of four Athenian lovers in the woods, whose lives become entwined with some mischievous fairies who ensure the course of true love does not run smoothly.

Special mention must go to Paula Luke for her fantastic turn as Puck. It was a carefree performance, full of energy and charm.

Robert Iles is as hilarious as you would hope Bottom would be, complete with a certain musical number which will have you laughing out loud (trust me, traditional Shakespeare fans, you will love it).

The four Athenian lovers are played fantastically well, and each actor brings a unique twist to their character.

Frances Iles is bewitching as Titania, and Warren Ingham-Barrow (Oberon) steals the stage when he is on it.

According to WODS’ president Tony Law, drama has not been rosy in Weston since the 1990s. But this cast deserve sell-out performances.

Who needs to travel to London to see Shakespeare, when we have actors of this calibre right here in Weston? Go and watch WODS’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is a magical show, full of originality, with a beautiful set.

WODS will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tropicana, in Marine Parade, today (Friday) and Saturday at 7.30pm, with an additional matinee performance at 2.30pm on August Saturday.

Tickets, priced £8-10, can be bought at www.worleoperatic.co.uk/tickets or on the door of each show.

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