It may be a line from another Shakespeare play (Twelfth Night), but Driftwood Theatre’s production of the Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes to heart the idea that “if music be the food of love, play on.”
The innovation in this Dream, adapted by Kevin Fox, Tom Lillington and director D. Jeremy Smith, is the extensive use of a cappella musical settings of some of the original spoken text and the fairy songs.
The play, one of Shakespeare’s most popular works – another version’s running in High Park – deals with two sets of lovers wandering through the woods; their initially tangled relationships are first confused further and then set right by a band of fairies whose rulers, Oberon and Titania, have their own amatory squabbles. There’s also a group of workmen, rehearsing with their leader (Helen King) a play for the upcoming nuptials of royals Theseus and Hippolyta, who become caught up in the forest’s magic.
Smith’s production is innovative from the start, with Bottom (Andrew Scanlon), the most comical of the workmen, conjuring up the four lovers (Nathan Carroll, Madeleine Donohue, Christian Feliciano and Stephanie Seaton) at the four points of the central playing area. The fairy Puck (Paul Dunn), Oberon’s minion, watches with such earnestness that we know he’s going to take a hand in the action that follows.