You would be hard pressed to find a better performance of Shakespeare’s a Midsummer Night s Dream than one by the Royal Shakespeare Company. This MGM Limited Edition DVD especially so as it stars Helen Mirren as Hermia, Judi Dench as Titania, and Diana Rigg as Helena. Though originally released in 1968, A Midsummer Night s Dream looks very good in this on demand release but do not expect high definition.
A Midsummer Night s Dream is the story of three couples: Theseus of Athens is set to marry Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Oberon and Titania, gods of the fairies, and young Hermia and Lysander who want to get married but Hermia’s father has betrothed her to Demetrius whom Helena is in love with
Oberon gets involved in the affairs of men and things do not go as planned. Lysander wakes up under a spell and falls in love with Helena and then Demetrius gets spelled and also falls in love with Helena.
When things get settled the humans figure they must have dreamt the whole thing.
This is a very good production of A Midsummer Night s Dream though the very English countryside makes it hard to believe this is taking place in Greece. Also and most annoying Peter Hall has his lights sometimes quite visible as if the scene was lit by car headlights. Hall also has a bit of difficulty keeping night and day straight in scenes that follow each other.
For U.S. teachers: There is nudity in this production so there’s goes the educational value of this Shakespeare DVD. Now, had there been shootings and killings ....