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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BBC Version of "The Dream" - an excellent production
I have seen many productions of "The Dream" in the theatre and cinema but, without doubt, this is the best; although it does not have the excitement and dangers of live performances, it is an excellent, full production with some splendid actors well-versed in Shakespeare.

Filmed in the studio but retaining the feel of the stage (but a BBC stage!), its limited...
Published on 23 Nov 2011 by RR Waller

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2.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring
I know that any production is different and it is often a personal opinion but I found this production very uninspiring. I am working on the play with some Y8 pupils and bought this to give them some ideas on characterisation and movement. I found the setting very strange - always dark - and some of the characters did not fit very well. The downside to using well-known...
Published 2 months ago by K. Chantler


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BBC Version of "The Dream" - an excellent production, 23 Nov 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream - BBC Shakespeare Collection [1981] (DVD)
I have seen many productions of "The Dream" in the theatre and cinema but, without doubt, this is the best; although it does not have the excitement and dangers of live performances, it is an excellent, full production with some splendid actors well-versed in Shakespeare.

Filmed in the studio but retaining the feel of the stage (but a BBC stage!), its limited acting areas concentrate attention on the language; the low-lighting quality and simple sets achieve the same. Unlike films with a vast canvas, often a distraction, this never loses its focus from the dimly-lit appearance of Puck in the forest to his solo appearance at the end:

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.

The only feature I think unkindly of are Bottom's ears, most unlike the objects they are meant to represent. However, it's such a small fault, not worth an earful! One element of filmed/televised Shakespeare which is often poor is the one element which should be outstanding - the sound quality and the diction. On this DVD, both are excellent.

Robert Lindsay makes a wonderful bemused Lysander, Cherith Mellor as Helena is not "as ugly as a bear" but captures the feelings well and Geoffrey Palmer's patient Quince is so diplomatic attempting to organise the motley crew headed by Brian Glover's exasperatingly enthusiastic Bottom. There are too many wonderful performances to mention.

Excellent - productions do not come any better.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Misummer Night's Dream, 18 Feb 2012
This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream - BBC Shakespeare Collection [1981] (DVD)
I first watched this years ago when the BBC made a series of Shakespreare productions. This features a young Helen Mirren and other established actors. I love this version of the play, a good one to watch on a summer evening with the scent of honeysuckle floating in through an open window. The BBC Shakespeare Collection have some of the best versions of the Bard's plays that I have seen, and I have seen a few. If you can't get to Stratford Theatre then this collection is a good way to experience Shakespeare and this play is one of my favourites.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream - BBC Shakespeare Collection [1981] (DVD)
As expected. A lovely production.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Uninspiring, 19 Jun 2014
By 
K. Chantler (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream - BBC Shakespeare Collection [1981] (DVD)
I know that any production is different and it is often a personal opinion but I found this production very uninspiring. I am working on the play with some Y8 pupils and bought this to give them some ideas on characterisation and movement. I found the setting very strange - always dark - and some of the characters did not fit very well. The downside to using well-known actors is that the face fits another role rather than Shakespeare. I'm also unconvinced that plays turn well into TV productions as they are totally different media.

I had to abandon watching it with the Y8 pupils as they were becoming very bored and being 'turned off' rather than 'turned on'! I think it could have been far more lively and amusing.
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