Southwick Players get racy with a brilliant bawdy comedy

Performers in Southwick Players' A Midsummer Night's Dream and, below left, the director, Harry Atkinson, who wanted to focus on the light and the 'beautiful chaos'
Performers in Southwick Players' A Midsummer Night's Dream and, below left, the director, Harry Atkinson, who wanted to focus on the light and the 'beautiful chaos'

SOUTHWICK audiences were treated to a brilliant night of comedy at the Barn Theatre last week.

Southwick Players gave an hilarious performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, making the most of the bawdy elements.

Indeed, it was quite racy at times, with some rather revealing costumes and full-on kissing scenes.

It had been billed as set in the 1920s but I was pleasantly surprised to find this did not dominate or spoil the much-loved play.

What it did do was give the opportunity for some super dance sequences and fun 1920s numbers, which actually really worked and in no way seemed out of place.

The cast was broken up into three groups, each having differently themed costumes. The Athenians were in 1920s dress, the Mechanicals were more Victorian in their waistcoats and black caps, and the Supernaturals were beautifully styled in what was really more traditional Shakespearean gear.

As most of the play was set in the forest, it meant the 1920s did not have the greater bearing and, as a whole, the music and dance numbers drew it all together, sealing the gap between the worlds.

There were a number of star performers, with Tobias Clay particularly standing out as the merry and impish Puck. All showed a high standard but other notable performances included Jenny Burtenshaw as Helena, Rebecca Polling as Hermia, and Tony Bright as Oberon.