Monday, July 23, 2012

Psychadelic Whimsy: Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in Coram Fields

I must admit I do like to be entertained when I go to see a show, which is why I awarded five stars  to this freely adapted version of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', seen at Coram's Fields last Saturday. A Beatles score and lots of slapstick may not be to everyone's taste, but it is to mine.
One reason I chose to review this show was the venue - I always fancy open-air Shakespeare in the summer, but there's a lot wrong with Regents Park as a venue.  It gets cold, mainly because the seats are so high up and you can feel as if you need a telescope as well as a sleeping bag, and the park gate allowing access to Baker Street tube is closes around nine. You end up walking what seems like miles to get to any public transport. This venue was a short walk from Russell Square or bus stops on Southampton Row.

One of the problems I faced with the Coram Fields  venue was getting any information about the seating arrangements. So we carried fold-up camping chairs on train and bus, which turned out to be unnecessary.

It was all very informal - a number of park benches were ranged in fronto of those gazebo-style tents with optional wall flaps that you buy in Argos or Wilkinsons. We had a bench to ourselves and wished we'd brought a picnic hamper instead of the folding chairs. The action of the play was punctuated with the popping of fizzy wine corks.

Coram Fields is named after a man called Sir Thomas Coram, who established a Foundlings Hospital on the site in 1739, which only closed in 1958, by which it had moved to Surrey. Most of the original building was demolished in 1928 and now it's a childrens playground,  so adults have to take a child with them   to gain access in the day time.  There's a Foundling Museum in nearby Brunswick Square. I'll be making a visit as soon as I can.

My review appears on The Public Reviews website. 

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