Festival Reviews

Ralph photo  2Another Festival treat which has come and gone.

 Ralph McAllister

March 2014

Dmitry Krymov, one of Russia’s leading experimental theatre practitioners, brought a large company to the St James Theatre for an anarchic production called A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM .

This  had an absolute minimum to do with Shakespeare and more to do with Samuel Beckett,circus acrobatic acts,and gigantic puppets .

Admittedly the puppets were identified as Pyramus and Thisbe,even though the links thereafter were tenuous as the puppets kept collapsing ,despite the efforts of twelve manipulators to keep them erect,so to speak.


There was an audience within the audience,adding to the hilarity as they sneered in totally snobbish ways at this “modern” stuff.

They got soaked for their contributions and we laughed .

The star of the show could have been the little dog which confronted the Lion at one of the show’s stunning moments.

But like all stars this dog knew when not to upstage the action.Some might think the show was much ado about nothing but my only disappointment was not seeing the final performance booked out.

The show deserved all the accolades it received,perhaps some of our audiences have more serious work to attend.

Speaking of which, I tried to see The Crimson Rose but the world premiere was cancelled due to “unforeseen technical difficulties” after we had milled  around before the show that wasn’t.

From the reports I have been given this morning,I may have been lucky.


Next week,one of the great highlights each festival, Writers Week, this one  I will cover with alacrity and excitement as I listen to people such as Tom Keneally, Eleanor Catton, Rebecca Macfie and many others.

And then there are the fifth symphonies of Sibelius And Shostakovitch…..wow!
Ralph McAllister