A Midsummer Night’s Droll @ theSpace on the Mile
The Owle Schreame’s irresistibly ridiculous A Midsummer Night’s Droll is a history lesson as well as a strong post-dinner laugh
A Midsummer Night's Droll is a hysterical, stomach-achingly funny version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, that has not been performed for over 350 years. Birthed by passionate struggling actors (see: drunkards) out of the English theatre ban that ran between 1642 and 1660, a droll is a raucous mashing together of the best scenes from the original play, with some foot-stamping songs and plenty of rude jokes thrown in for good measure.
Now, Midsummer... is categorised amongst the comedies, but this is mostly owing to the Mechanicals – it's not usually due to a disturbingly bird-like, wide-eyed King Oberon, or to Queen Titania lustily caressing the huge misshapen vegetable head of Bottom the ass (innovative). Every moment of this caper gives the sensation of being in a very bold high school drama class where everybody is at least slightly drunk and the teacher can’t be found. Let’s be honest; Midsummer with the lovers cut out is already a stroke of genius, but nothing will prepare you for how concentrated the comedy becomes.
The actors feed so constantly off the audience that we seem to all lose our heads at the same time. Nobody is at the helm. One unintentional moment that left the whole room quite literally breathless with laughter concerned one of the actors’ trousers falling down as he ran to follow his cue. The whole ensemble seem giddy and in their element together on stage, heckling each other when lines are botched and delighting in each other’s – and our – rowdy mirth every time the guitar reappears for another tune.
If you’re after the kind of intense laughter that counts as exercise, you’ve found a show to work out to.
A Midsummer Night's Droll, theSpace on the Mile, run ended
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