A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Korea

in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre world season on Monday 30 April and Tuesday 1 May 2012 at 19:30 each evening.

This is very highly recommended by me. (I saw it five times between August 2005 and July 2006. I will definitely be seeing it once again, and quite possibly twice again.) And by others.

More details and links HERE including information on discounted full price tickets.

An extract from my 2006 post on LondonKoreanLinks.net:
… There weren’t any surtitles in Edinburgh, and as long as people roughly knew the plot (and had read the short programme note beforehand to understand the minor changes to the story) the performance was such strong physical theatre that understanding the spoken language was almost irrelevant – you could see and hear the emotion. Neither I nor my friend understand Korean. (But I wish did, because I suspect it would then be an even better experience.)

It’s probably the best production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream I’ve ever seen, and the (mock) fight scene between Hermia and Helena is very very very funny: the production would be worth seeing just for that. …

Update: I’ve just seen the first of the two performances – both I and the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy this immensely.

It’s maybe a little different from the Edinburgh 2005 and Bristol 2006 performances (quite small venues), and although the Barbican (2006 performances) stage is big, I think it’s big in a different way from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which seems both big and – to some extent – intimate. There’s more dance in the production than I remember, but that’s probably just my poor memory. And it’s wonderful to see actors playing instruments on stage.

There are a few surtitles, but they aren’t intrusive, and are sufficient to keep those of us who don’t understand Korean on track. And there was a sizable contingent of Koreans in the audience, which helped with understanding when there were jokes in the spoken text. (Oh, and there is some English spoken text, maybe a little more than in 2005 and 2006?)

Yohangza make very good use of the pit/groundlings, and they’ve rehearsed the “curtain calls” very well – at the end they exit into the Globe main entrance to greet the audience as they leave.

Afterwards I overheard a member of the audience saying that it was a wonderful production, and I also overheard a member of the Globe Theatre team saying that he thought that there was a cumulative effect as the production progressed.

So I think I can safely say that this is a “hit”.


About Colin Bartlett

I'm interested in arts, mathematics, science. Suliram is a partial conflation of the names of three good actors: Ira Aldridge, Anna May Wong, and another. My intention is to use a personal experience of arts to make some points, but without being too "me me me" about it. And to follow Strunk's Elements of Style. Except that I won't always "be definite": I prefer Niels Bohr's precept that you shouldn't write clearer than you think.
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