Get our free email newsletter with just one click

A Midsummer Night’s Dream review at Duddingston Kirk Manse

by -

Theatre Albas make excellent use of the loch-side backdrop of the gardens of Duddingston Manse in this outdoor production. To promenade here would have been adventurous but there is enough atmosphere to help bring the woods to life. It is a light, romping production that makes full use of large cast – including members of the company’s youth and outreach wings.

If they are more used to creating plays in Scots, Alba bring a clear interpretation to the text as a whole. Individually, they are rather more patchy. Michelle Duncan, as Helena, is the only one of the four lovers who really gets her tongue around the language and uses it to whiplash Emma Laidlaw’s Hermia.

Suzanne Dance makes a languorous Titania, whose clearly goth-influenced fairy band are not above sneering at their queen’s predilections for donkey flesh. They have a hint of affection for her Oberon, made crisp and acerbic by the consistently strong Keith Hutcheon.

Alan McQueen (Quince) and James Sutherland (Bottom) lead the mechanicals in a mask which draws all the comedy down gently while maintaining their characters’ naive bravura. Solid, if unadventurous, interpretation of royal party complete a production which knows exactly which buttons to press.

Production Information

Duddingston Kirk Manse, August 5-22

William Shakespeare
Charles Nowosielski
Theatre Alba
Cast includes
Keith Hutcheon, Michelle Duncan, Alan McQueen, James Sutherland
Running time
2hrs 45mins

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price