Last night I went to an outdoor theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Immersion Theatre. I love the atmosphere of open air theatre so I was looking forward to it but was also very concerned that it would have to be moved indoors. It had rained for most of the morning and although it brightened up in the afternoon it was raining again when I left work. Luckily it had stopped by the time I got to the venue and they had decided to go ahead outside. They had set up inside as well though – just in case!
We arrived nice and early which meant that we had excellent seats right at the front. The cast roamed through the audience chatting with us before the play started which was a lovely way to make us feel involved. Of course, me being me, I was worried about being called on for audience participation but it wasn’t a problem and I could relax and enjoy the show.
Enjoy it I did too. It was an hilarious production and I haven’t laughed so much for quite some time. The actors in small travelling companies never cease to amaze me with their ability to play several parts at once – and be convincingly different characters. There were several impressively quick changes too!
By far the most dramatic moment though had nothing to do with the acting. Thisbe was in the middle of her death scene when, with absolutely no warning, the heavens opened and the rain just poured down. It was so loud! The poor actors were immediately drenched and we weren’t much better but dramatically speaking the timing just couldn’t have been better.
Sadly it wasn’t really possible to continue so we missed out on Puck’s epilogue but it was actually quite fitting to end with Theseus’ words, ‘No epilogue, I pray you; your play needs no excuse.’
After that there was nothing to be done but go home, dry off and read the ending for myself.
I had the most fantastic evening. The play is almost at the end of its tour now but if Immersion Theatre are playing near you I would highly recommend going to see them. I will certainly be doing so if they are in this area again.