Dream, using motion capture of actors, animation, music and some audience interaction, is not an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but is inspired by the forest presented within it. It was originally planned as live experience by the Royal Shakespeare Company, but has now moved to online.
I loved The Grinning Man in both its incarnations – from Bristol’s Old Vic to the West End – and so I was most pleased to hear that it would be immortalised in vinyl, or whatever the digital equivalent is…
There’s superlative work from Gyre & Gimble’s puppetry, Loren O’Dair and James Alexander-Taylor’s work with the wolf is exceptional, and the whole show is just as satisfying and challenging and complex and beautiful as I remembered. Recommended.
The Grinning Man may not be suitable for children (it has an age limit of 12 years), and it’s certainly not a Christmas show in any way, but within the grotesque world that Grose, Morris, Teitler and Phillips create there is a rare and genuine theatre magic.
Characterisation from each member of the cast felt natural, beautifully synchronised and there’s a strong sense of unity amongst the ensemble – even when characters’ paths are divided.
It’s somehow fitting that the last Shakespeare of Emma Rice’s final (summer) season is King Lear. A play that shows us how the established world can change based on one rash decision will certainly have some resonance at a venue who made the decision to terminate Rice’s employment as Artistic Director so early on.