Caravan casts a spell

A Review of Caravan Farm Theatre's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Spellbound: Back from left

Forsooth, there’s laughter and cavorting afoot in the woods this summer.

Magical mix-ups, madcap theatrics and downright hilarity mark Caravan Farm Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Director Jennifer Brewin  has scored a triumph with an amazing cast and, in my mind, one of Shakespeare’s funnier comedies.

Am I gushing? Yes!

Unlike some productions where one or two actors outshine the rest of the cast,   every performer brings star quality to this dream. These are some of Canada’s best.

That the ensemble has meshed well together is evident. Also evident is their love for the material, their craft and the performance.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is performed in two locations, with Caravan once again taking advantage of their 80-acre property to set the scene.

The forest setting, complete with trails, shrubbery, magic flowers and things that go “shriek” in the night, provides a superb backdrop to the madcap action Shakespeare set in the woods near Athens.

Sounds of the creatures that dwell in the woods add authenticity to the 400-year-old play.

“A wood filled with birds and beasts excites us and sets our imagination racing,” says Brewin, who has been associated with Caravan for 15 years. “It’s a place of fear, romance and peace.”

Brewin offers high praise to artistic director Courtenay Dobbie for gathering a “skilled, ingenious and witty company.”

The costumes are a delightful mix of cowboy country, hippies and faeries – no more incongruous than the characters themselves.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream opens and closes at a hill-top gazebo. After the opening, the audience strolls about 300 feet to bleachers set up at the forest edge.

A shuttle service is available for the elderly and persons with disabilities to make the performance accessible to everyone.

And the play is indeed suitable for the whole family, with enough intriguing sound and action to entertain the younger set too.

I would put Caravan’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the top of anyone’s entertainment to-do list.

I recommend a cushion to sit upon  and layered apparel as it can get quite cold at night on the farm.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs to Aug. 21, with shows nightly (except for Monday) at 7:30 p.m., rain or shine.

Tickets are available through Ticket Seller at 1-866-311-1011 or at www.ticketseller.ca.

Information on special group rates is available by calling Caravan Farm Theatre at 1-866-546-8533.

 

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