Foot It Featly Here & There
Saturday, June 28, 2014
From my Shakespeare Bible, Harold Bloom’s
Shakespeare – The Invention of the Human I found out two, for me, important
facts. One is that The Tempest, Love’s Labour’s Lost and A Midsummer’s Night
Dream are the only Shakespeare plays pretty well written from scratch and with
little borrowing from other sources.
Two in that Bloom has had mostly bad
experiences in witnessing productions to date. He writes:
Of all Shakespeare’s plays, the two
visionary comedies – A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and The Tempest – these days
share the sad distinction of being the worst interpreted and performed.
Erotomania possesses the critics and directors of Dream, while ideology drives
the bespoilers of The Tempest. Caliban, a poignant but cowardly (and murderous)
half-human creature (his father a sea devil, whether fish or amphibian), has
become an African-Caribbean heroic Freedom Fighter. This is not even a weak
misreading; anyone who arrives at that view is simply not interested in reading
the play at all. Marxists, multiculturalists, feminists, nouveau historicists –
the usual suspects – know their causes but not Shakespeare’s plays.
Of last night's opening performance at Bard
on the Beach of The Tempest I can comfortably assert that director Meg Roe (who
has read Shakespeare!) has kept the politics of the play in the dialogue where
it should remain and tweaked the play with gender, just so nicely as so many have
from inception. After all in Shakespeare’s time boys were girls, men were women
and all that was reversed in time until all we need now(and probably already
performed) is a female Lear.
In The Tempest, Ariel (described as an airy
Spirit by Shakespeare) is performed by Jennifer Lines. But there is a tradition
in female Ariels. But startling (to me!) are Trinculo, a jester, and Stephano,
a drunken butler. They are played as Trincula by Luisa Jojic and Stephana by
Naomi Wright. These two wonderful women inject into the play the second part of
Blooms epithet for the play “visionary comedy”. These two are uproariously
funny in their costumes, Christine Reimer, the Costume Designer (which are
pristine in the beginning and they, little by little fall apart) and their two
spiked hairdos complete the picture. Their shenanigans with foot fetish “monster”
Caliban played by Todd Thomson (who crawls most of the time and will surely
need relief soon for his poor back) are exquisitely done.
The buzz during the interval was about
Miranda, Lili Beaudoin and Ferdinand, Daniel Doheny who both have the joy of
youth oozing out explosively to the point that surely the powers that be at
Bard will mount a Romeo and Juliet next year for this pair.
|Lois Anderson, Colin Heath, Manon Beaudoin|
Beaudoin has talent to spare which obviously
may have been inherited by her extremely funny parents Manon Beaudoin and Colin
Heath who before they moved East were the funny element (with Lois Anderson) of
Leaky Haven Circus. I will never forget the swings and the dogs.
Daniel Doheny may have inherited his
dramatics from his grandfather Uno Langman. Witness my portrait of the
Throughout this play, which is straightforward
and you really need not read notes to figure out what is happening, I was
mesmerized by these two. Morgan made a noticeable but almost seamless change
from the vengeful deposed Duke of Milan to the almost kindly forgiver. Morgan
combined body language and the diminishing of that assertive voice he is so
good at projecting. For me this was an acting tour de force paralleled by
Line, who has a beautiful soprano voice,
physically put her right foot up on its toes most of the time. She combined
this studied unbalance with an almost unnoticeable vibrato/shimmer. She was an apparition not quite here or there. She was
As for the foot fetish shenanigans you
might find this interesting. I might want to sit down some day with Meg Roe and
I enjoyed the musicians (one was missing from what I can tell) who were very young. The violist, Marcus Takizawa I know from the Turninng Point Ensemble.
A Midsummer's Night Dream
Thursday's Child Has Far To Go
Friday, June 27, 2014
Monday's child is fair
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
Today is Lauren Elizabeth Stewart's birthday. She is now 12. From her Kerrisdale grandparents she is getting two lovely Moleskin portfolios where she can keep all the drawings, sketches and paintings of her Friday art classes with The Russian. Lauren will go far, We don't doubt it, as she was born on a Thursday.
Marilyn The Wild
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Twice divorced at twenty-five, she could
chew up husbands faster than any other Bronx-Manhattan girl who had bombed out
of Sarah Lawrence. Isaac had always been there to find husbands for her,
genteel men with forty-thousand dollar jobs and a flush of college degrees. Her
father sat at Headquarters behind the paneled walls of the First Deputy Police
Commissioner. He’s been invited to Paris,
she heard, as the World’s Greatest Cop (of 1970-71), or something close to
that. And Coen was Isaac’s fool, a spy
attached to the First Dep.
Coen spied an alcove about twenty feet
behind Marilyn. It was the entrance to an abandoned toilet. He picked up skirt,
blouse and suitcase. Marilyn carried her shoes. The alcove was narrow, and they
had nowhere to lie down. Marilyn leaned into a dirty wall. Coen’s pants dropped
to his knees. Their bellies met under the coats. “Blue Eyes,” she said. Soon
her mumbling was indistinct.
Marilyn the Wild, Jerome Charyn 1993
Great Balls Of Fire At The Red Rock Diner
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
|Red Robinson & behind, Elvis by LeRoy Neiman|
Red Rock Diner, billed as a 50’s Rock ‘n’
Roll Revue (created by Dean Regan and based on the early days of deejay Red
Robinson) shook me up with great balls of fire’s worth of nostalgia. My
Rosemary and I went tonight to the Arts Club Theatre Company’s production on
the Granville Island Stage with direction and choreography by Valerie Easton.
I have written before how as an
Argentine-born Latin I never understood or liked musicals. That, all changed
after a few years of seeing musicals at the three Arts Club Theatre stages. And of course I have been in love with Sara-Jeanne Hosie since.
Red Rock Diner is not quite a musical as
the story and the dialogue are sparse. Neil Minor playing Red Robinson gets to
do most of the talking as the deejay.
|Carl Perkins, left & Del Shannon, right I've forgotten the folks in the middle.|
some time before I was over the shock that indeed this was a musical
review of many of the most popular rock ‘n’ roll tunes of the middle to late
50s. Once over the shock the memories began to
blast my brain.
Consider that since I moved up to Vancouver from Mexico City with my wife and
two daughters in 1975 none of the memories could have involved Red Robinson or Elvis at
My memories came from the fact that in 1957
until 1962 I was attending a Catholic boarding school in Austin, Texas.
There was only one radio station KTBC–Radio and one single TV station KTBC–TV.
Both were owned by L.B.J.
|Paul Anka & friend|
I believe that on Saturday evenings we
would watch Hit Parade (sponsored by Hit Parade Cigarettes) in our dorm TV. I
remember that it was late enough that we watched it from our beds and that the
TV was placed high so we could all see. We hated the program because you did
not get to see the original performers of the songs. The imitations were
totally lame and some made us laugh.
I can safely assert that all the songs
performed tonight were done beautifully. Colin Sheen’s (Johnny B) falsetto was
a dead-on Del Shannon and Zachary Stevenson’s (Val) was a perfect and a not
The band, Mathew Baker, bass, Todd Biffard,
drums, Steven Greenfield, keyboard, Jeff Gladstone, guitar, and Brett Ziegler, saxophone,
is first class, while Zachary Stevenson did wonders himself with that sax and a
guitar. In short in this musical review, the singers can dance, the musicians
can sing, and many of those singers can play the yo-yo (Colin Sheen) or
skillfully manage hula-hoops, Robyn Wallis (Venus), Anna Kuman (Connie) and
Tafari Anthony (Richard, and a great impersonator of Jerry Lee Lewis). Kuman managed the hula-hoop with her ankles, super
fast and Anthony with his neck. I must add that Zachary Stevenson on a pogo
stick never did fall, even once.
|Valerie Easton, left & friend|
This reminds me that in the Arts Club
Theatre’s presentation of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, one of the
actresses had to master the musical saw while in another play Jennifer Lines
pulled out an accordion from under a sofa and managed just fine.
My boarding school experience in Texas was mostly a
melancholy one as I never did learn to dance. If you didn’t dance you were
shunned by the Catholic girls from St. Mary’s across town. I did sort of manage
to get enough nerve to ask my heartthrob Judy Reyes(She never knew. As she was a cheerleader she would have never noticed me.) to dance in our basketball gym sock hops.
Sock hops because neither Brother Hubert nor
I, who took care of that varnished floor would have ever allowed leather-soled
shoes on it. I shuffled the slow songs like Theme From A Summer Place (performed by Percy
Faith and most certainly not a rock ‘n’ roll song).
I did manage to go to a hamburger joint on “the
drag” near the University
of Texas with my friend
Lee Lytton who owned a 56 Chevy convertible (kept it hidden as we could not have cars as boarders) and
we were served by bobby-socked waitresses on roller skates.
|Wolfman Jack & Del Shannon|
That whole Texas experience was a nostalgia I would not
understand until I started taking stills at variety shows at the CBC in the
late 70s. It was then that I met and photographed Wolfman Jack on his show, the Paul
Anka Show and others so got to photograph Carl Perkins, Bo Diddley, Fats
Domino, Del Shannon and many more. But such was my ignorance on all things "rock" that the CBC
cameramen had to patiently explain to me who these luminaries were.
Of Paul Anka I must complain that I had to
suffer months of hearing him sing in almost every show date New
My Way and worst of all Diana.
It was in the 10th grade that
one of my roommates was infatuated with a girl from his hometown, Odessa who was called
Diana. It was Paul Anka’s Diana all day and all night. I cringed until the
young man was sent home because he was caught leaving the snazzy gentleman’s
apparel, Reynolds-Penland on 8th and Congress Avenue wearing three pairs of slacks.
The first act of Red Rock Diner happens in
the diner itself and with an upper balcony for the Dee-jay Red. It was the
second half, the prom at King
School that made me slide into melancholy. I
could even imagine the smell of the treated sawdust I used to push on the floor
of my St. Ed’s High School gym.
The melancholy was partly because I must
have lived in complete naïveté. We knew that marijuana was bad because we had
seen photographs of actor Robert Mitchum sweeping a jail corridor. “And look
how his eyes are semi closed. That’s what marijuana does for you.” In my naïveté
I did not know about heroin. We avoided 6th Street as we were told we could be rolled by spicks, The spicks in our school were all well-behaved Catholics as was Richard Mosby our token black classmate. Everything was in its place, or so it seemed to me. In the periphery of all this we heard of a strange magical substance called Spanish Fly.
|Jackie Coleman, Paul Williams & Valerie Easton|
Red Rock Diner somehow kept my naïve memory
of the 50s alive. There was a token (wonderful singer and not to mention his
hula-hoop extravaganza) black man in Tafari Anthony, the duck cuts were slick
but clean and the women attractive and almost wholesome.
I would have easily returned home in the
glow of a rosy and uncomplicated past. Everything in its place. Except somehow
I was exhilarated in a way I would not have been back in 1957. Costume Designer
Darryl Milot in Robyn Wallis’s (Venus) polka-dot top (nice plunging neckline)
evoked Marilyn Monroe’s dress in The Misfits. The blonde hair and some of
Wallis’s singing was pretty good Marilyn too.
And the King Edward
High School prom dress
that Milot designed (sparkling blue also with décolletage) for Wallis made me
almost want to go on stage to see if I just might catch a slow dance. But I
I do not think that the pictures of a very young Valerie Easton (the Director/Choreographer) who was one of the jazz dancers for the late 70s CBC variety shows will in any way embarrass her!
Below are a couple of scans from my 1957 yearbook. I did not attend the prom. I did not have Dee-jay Red Robinson to assuage my loneliness with his radio program.
John Singer Sargent Might Have Drooled
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Photography has been in my blood since I
was 16 years old. I never felt I wanted to play football, baseball or any other
manly sports. In short I was a wimp of a young man who became a fairly good
I can safely say that I have never wanted
to own a motorcycle, grow a beard or a mustache or buy a red Miata when I
achieved middle age (I opted for something worse a Maserati Biturbo). I have
never really liked beer or to drink just about anything else. In short I have
never sought manly things. No, I do not know how to tie a bow tie.
Ancillary to this is that whenever I have
spotted a beautiful landscape or noticed a glorious sunset I have chosen to snap
it with my brain's camera, its memory. It never runs out of batteries and
exposures go beyond 36.
Today I took some portraits of Caitlin Legault. When I took this one I knew I had a
good portrait. I believe that American painter John Singer Sargent would have
been quite excited at having Caitlin pose for him.
In my search for the real skin tone I set
my Fuji X-E1 to 5800 Kelvin. Alas somehow the camera went back to its automatic
white balance without informing me and the resulting pictures taken with a
studio flash came out so warm that to more or less take them back to some sort
of normality I had to add 50 cyan and 40 yellow. It is the resulting odd colour
that I think conspired in my favour.
Vancouver Rosarians Fuss & Preen
Monday, June 23, 2014
|Darlene Sanders - Fussing & preening|
Sunday June 22 the Vancouver Rose Society
held its Vancouver Rose Show at the Floral Hall of VanDusen.
Had any of you reading this gone you would
have found a large hall with rows and rows of perfect rose blooms, single ones
and sprays in the three-sized vases the society provides for exhibitors. These
roses were divided into a myriad of categories including modern shrub roses,
old roses, hybrid teas, species and more you might have never ever heard of.
Besides the specimens there were floral
arrangements, roses in frames and my faves “the floaters”.
|Rosarians Janet Wood & Dennis Yeomans|
My adventure with roses began badly in 1988
when my Rosemary took me to a meeting (second Tuesday of the month) that was
held at the Floral Hall. I experienced dull talks, projection of bad rose
slides and to make it all worse my chair was awfully hard. I could not
comprehend all the fuss about what seemed to be a silly flower that could not
possibly compete with my pristine hostas.
But slowly I came around. It might have
been the fragrance; it might have been a sight of my first old rose.
But to be honest today I am bonkers over
roses because of one woman, Janet Wood who at the time was the president of the
organization. Wood lives in Southlands. She moved there years ago when in
pursuit of horse manure for her beloved roses (I think she might have lived in West Vancouver). Wood
decided that she and her roses might better be close to the manure.
Wood was the first person to advise us on
which roses to place in our garden. Some were easy roses and some were awfully
difficult (Rosa ‘Dainty Bess’ and the English Rose Rosa ‘Fair Bianca’ were the difficult ones). Such
was Wood’s enthusiasm and always available for tips on pruning, etc that I
became a convert. It was then that Rosemary switched to hardy geraniums and let
me be with the roses.
|Brenda Viney - Preening & Fussing|
Since 1988 I have come to especially love
the scent that the English call myrrh. I have the first myrrh rose, a Scottish
plant called Rosa ‘Splendens’ Somehow in the mid 19th century a rose called
Rosa ‘Belle Isis’ appeared that also had that distinctive scent. In 1968 David
Austin (in Shropshire) crossed Belle Isis with
Dainty Maid and the first English Rose, Constance Spry was the result. Of course it was myrrh
Because of my dislike of treating a rose,
photographically like a tight portrait I have avoided taking pictures of my
roses and resorted to scanning them. Through these scans I have become most
intimate with the roses in the garden.
A week before the Rose Show, Rosarian (that’s
what we call ourselves) Alister Browne explained how to show roses. Since I
have photographed dog shows in my past for magazines, I can tell you that there
is no difference in the preparation of a poodle for a show or a rose for a
show. And you never know if on the big day will the dog and or the rose perform for you? Luckily for dogs, their owners do not prepare them the night before by cooling them in the fridge.
|For preening & fussing|
Of course I am not sure if Q-Tips, nose
scissors, tweezers, nail scissors, Kleenex or pens are have gone to the dogs
yet. But they are valid and necessary items to preen exhibition roses.
I went to this meeting not because I was
going to exhibit any of my roses. I would be scared to do so even though Alister
Browne after his detailed explanation did say, “Don’t forget we are doing this
I went to the meeting because Terry
Martinich, the Chief Organizing judge called me to ask me if I wanted to be a
judge of the Old Roses and also of the photographic exhibit. I wanted to
decline as I do not have the necessary training to be a judge. Martinich told
me I would be under the wing of the other two judges in the Old Rose
classification. They were Alec Globe and Peter Lekkas. The more I thought about
it the more it felt like it could be fun. I said, “Yes.”
I showed up at the Floral Hall at 9:30 the
morning of June 22 with some trepidation. We met in a separate room and
everybody was awfully serious.
And then we (Alex, Peter and I) began our
rounds of the old roses, species roses and English Roses. I was relieved that
not only were we looking for a perfection of bloom but that both my fellow
judges were looking at the displays for important symmetry or asymmetry in how
they were displayed. The leaves were part of the package. Suddenly we were
judging no mere botanicals but works of art. It was fun even though both my
fellow judges kept their smiles to a minimum. I did not catch on in the
beginning when Alec would give me a pen and told me, “You and Peter decide on
this one.” Of course we were judging one of his many entries as Globe has one
of the best collections of Old Roses in his home in White Rock.
|Martinich, left & the serious judges|
Looking at the specimens and deciding if
the turn of a petal in this direction or that was attractive or not was fun. We
decided to be human (read kind) when we noticed that one of the best specimens
suddenly had a broken bud. The bud had fallen when one of the clerks (only they
can touch or move the vases) had moved it closer for our inspection. We notice
a perfect spray of Rosa filipes ‘Kiftsgate’ (we found out later that the exhibitor
was Darlene Sanders and that she must have used a fireman’s ladder to cut it
from up a tree as this rose climbs and climbs.) and we three said, “Wow.”
After the judging we were invited for lunch
at the VanDusen Garden Shaughnessy Restaurant. Lunch was hosted by Rosarian
Bill McCarthy who in his garden in Mission
has well over 1000 roses!
|Two serious judges, Peter Lekkas & Alec Globe|
The best part of the whole day was to sit
with fellow Rosarians and to talk shop without fear of boring anybody.
And I do believe that I could have sat on a
hard chair for hours to look at bad slides of roses and enjoyed myself immensely.
Addendum: The prizes are ribbons or little
vases with an inscription that like the Stanley Cup you get to have at home for
two years (the Rose Show is a biannual event). The glory and the fun is what
counts. Now floaters are easy. The morning of the show, around 6:30 you cut a
few roses and float each one in a nice bowl. You might win or not. It is not
important, like showing off a poodle, you show off your rose. And that’s it.
|Elizabeth Sheppard & her winning floral display|
Bard's Dream Works
Sunday, June 22, 2014
|Titania, Naomi Wright & Bottom, Scott Bellis|
Last Saturday my eldest daughter Ale (a
teacher in Lillooet) and I went to Bard on the Beach’s opening performance of A
Midsummer’s Night Dream.
Happily my daughter’s perspicacity and good
ear prevented me from getting the wrong idea about lots of what I saw.
I will here admit that in my 71 years I
have not read Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, James Joyce’s Ulysses
or George Elliot’s Middle March.
I will here admit that perhaps in my hazy
past I might have seen Mickey Rooney’s Puck and James Cagney as Bottom. I must
here admit that had you asked me before Saturday who was the ass, Puck or
Bottom, I would have not known..
But I do know that the famous overture to A
Midsummer’s Night Dream was written by a Jewish chap with an Italian-sounding name,
Bertholdy, when he was 17. Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn added Bertholdy so that
he might better be accepted by the then anti-Semitic German culture. Felix was born in 1809 and perhaps almost did
more for our concept of the Scots than Shakespeare did with Macbeth. Mendelssohn’s
Die Habriden Opus 26 put Scotland
sort of on the map.
There was very little Mendelssohn in this A
Midsummer’s Night dream thanks to that sonorously inventive couple Alessandro
Juliani and Meg Roe.
What I want to point out is that I may know
a lot more about Felix and next to nothing about Bottom and Puck. After asking
a few friends about this play I remembered a Spanish neighbour in our home in
Arboledas, Estado de Mexico. Gaspar and I never really chatted as he had a very
tall barda (wall) around his house. One day we did converse and we found out we
shared a love for science fiction. We exchanged books. I lent him Olaf
Stapledon’s Sirius and he gave me Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris in Spanish. At the
time I was not too keen in reading in Spanish. A month later we sat down for
coffee and we discussed the two books. We did very well although I am convinced
neither of us had read a page.
|Bottom - Scott Bellis|
I do believe then that A Midsummer’s Night
Dream may be one of Shakespeare’s least known.
I attempted to read the chapter on the play
by Harold Bloom in his marvelous Shakespeare – the Invention of the Human. I
got as far as figuring out that Bottom was the ass and not Puck.
The magic potion flower that gets this play
into its confusing motion is the mundane pansy (viola). I was ready to
criticize here that the folks (principally the director Dean Paul Gibson
(sometimes I find myself writing Harry Dean Stanton) had it all wrong as the
flower is not sniffed but its juice is squeezed on the sleepers closed eyelids
(Lysander (Chirak Naik), Demetrius (Daniel Doheny), and Titania (Naomi Wright).
My daughter set me straight as in the dialogue the action of squeezing the
juice is mentioned. So I have not criticisms to report. And that is just fine
as I am not a theatre critic at all.
It was theatre critic (the Georgia
Straight) Colin Thomas, who told me (he was most enthused) that he was ready to
wear Titania’s see-through outfit (her legs and thighs showed) so ably designed
by Costume Designer Mara Gottier. On a later date, outside the Arts Club
Theatre’s Granville Island Stage (the opening of Red Rock Diner) Thomas told me
he had no objection in my mentioning his name in this. Next to us was the
indomitable Bard publicist the spicy Cynnamon Schreinert who clued us in to the
fact that Titania’s outfit may have been inspired by a dress Cher
wore to the Oscars some years ago.
I must add that Mara Gottier’s rendering of
Oberon’s costume, it made Ian Butcher (who must be a tall man seem like he was
much taller man) look like a contemporary rendition of Bela Lugosi out to suck
blood. It was striking and I could not see why Puck, played by Kyle Rideout
found some sort of cozy tenderness to what seemed like his stern boss.
It is the latter coziness that methinks
would have had this play closed on its opening performance in my native Buenos Aires in the 50s and in many countries of the Middle East and Africa Dean Paul Gibson would find
himself behind bars.
If the average Vancouverite thinks that
this direction is daring he/she would be mistaken.
Through the years critics have lambasted the
play for suggesting that Oberon’s interest in Titania’s young ward was not
healthy. Others have attacked the possibility of bestiality (Titania falls for
Bottom whose head is an ass’s). And yet none of these critics may have opposed the
idea of sex with the opposite end of the equation the satyr (human from the
And yet is was in 1840 that Queen Victoria
and her beloved Albert celebrated their first year’s wedding anniversary by
attending a production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream by Charles Mathews at
Covent Garden. Mathews wife Elizabeth, known as Madame Elizabeth Vestris played
Oberon. It seems that Vestris had most shaply legs and as a woman she could not
display them. I wonder what the Queen might have opined. The custom of having a
female Oberon remained a standard in both the US
|Elizabeth Vestris as Titania - 1840|
Now a few who might have arrived at this
point might wander how this chap knows about this stuff. My wife Rosemary
always reads the program before a theatrical production. I like to be innocent
and surprised. But when I get home I get into my bible, the Harold Bloom. But I
also have Stanley Wells’s Shakespeare For All Time which I purchased a few
months ago as a Champlain Height Branch reject/ withdrawn of the Vancouver
Public Library for $1.50 ($1.00 for novels).
In this my first ever A Midsummer’s Night
Dream I can report that the music is excellent, the dancing is top notch and
the actors are all superb. Add to this that the whole play will have you
roaring with laughter for most of the night. But is that enough?
Upon reading Bloom I found out that only
Falstaff is more intelligent, witty and good than Bottom. Bloom further
informed me that this play is one of the few that Shakespeare wrote from
scratch without borrowing from anybody. He added that much of the dialogue is
superb. And finally don’t let anybody tell you about the marvelous Puck. Kyle
Rideout is all that. But the prize goes to Scott Bellis. He steals the show
even over the prancing Allan Morgan’s Starveling, suitably accessorized bye a
little white mechanical lap dog.
My advice is that to really appreciate this
play you must see it twice. The first time you laugh and have fun and enjoy
your special Bard caramel popcorn (there is, spoiler alert, a popcorn fight
between Demetrius and Lysander). The second time (after taking out Bloom’s book
from the library); go and see it for all the heavy stuff.
The play within the play, there are two
others in Shakespeare, in Hamlet and in Love's Labour’s Lost, in this production
is hilarious and worth the price of admission. The mechanicals, Quince (played
by an almost straight and calm Bernard Cuffling), Snug, (Allan Zinyk as a very
funny inoffensive lion), Flute (Haig Sutherland who plays a woman to
perfection), Snout (Andrew McNee who just returned from Hadrian’s
Wall for inspiration) and the prancing Alan Morgan as Starveling. But
again it is Bottom (Scott Bellis) who shines here. The women, particularly
Hermia (Claire Hesselgrave), Helena (Sereana Malani), Titania (Naomi Wright)
and Philostrate (Louisa Jojic) are just fine. Shakespeare this time around
showered the men with better lines.
Thanks to Stanley Well’s Shakespeare book I
discovered this. You will be surprised.