At times during this production, magic happened.
Imagine yourself in the hills at sunset, surrounded by bush sounds, looking out over a valley, as voices rise and intertwine like nature spirits, and then the nature spirits appear, as the stage is set for this most lovely of Shakespeare’s plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This version, however, is Australian, complete with eskies, mullets and mozzie spray wielding koalas, indigenous actor Damien Shepherd as a fitting Oberon, and with choreography utilising traditional kookaburra dance movements, in short, an updated and local version of the play.
Ink Pot Arts Inc. are an Adelaide Hills community group dedicated to fostering the arts in the hills, including running a youth arts festival. In this performance a cast of 30 made this play come alive, and with some not–so–subtle changes to the predominantly traditional script, made the story local and relevant. Lovely work.
A particularly nice touch was the players actually being our players of music who, when required on stage, downed instruments and continued their roles as players.
One notable departure from the traditional was the presence of two Pucks, who spoke in unison most of the time and shared dialogue at others. This worked so well, thanks to the brilliance of young actors, Ariel Elliot-Potter and Isaiah Rupcic, that I now think that Shakespeare’s version is lacking.
This very clever adaptation took advantage of everyone’s skills, and the unique setting, to add up to a very wonderful, magical evening.
Reviewed by Christine Pyman, Visual Arts Critic and special guest Fringe Critic, Glam Adelaide
Venue: Gibberagunyah Amphitheatre, 346 Ironstone Road, Nairne
Season: various dates to 17th March
Duration: 120 mins
Tickets: $15 – $25
Bookings: Fringetix outlets ($2.75 booking fee applies) on line here, or 1300 621 255