Shakespeare, dance beats collide in Midsummer play

Kaleidoscope Theatre plays A Midsummer Night's Dream, starting tonight

David Underhill plays the fairy king Oberon in Kaleidoscope Theatre’s rendition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

When forests and fairies collide with electronic beats, the effect is a dazzling show for young people.

So says Roderick Glanville, artistic director of Kaleidoscope Theatre, who put together a rendition of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream he hopes will appeal to a youthful audience.

“It’s geared toward making Shakespeare accessible to all audiences and demystifying it – what is love; is it in the eyes or the heart?”

Love, a key theme in Shakespeare’s play, is relatable to young and old, Glanville said. But Kaleidoscope’s latest production adds a modern pop culture touch that blends the Elizabethan era with the information age: electronic music.

“I really enjoy the way the play’s going, especially the music,” said Michael Bell, the 16-year-old Parkland secondary student who plays Lysander in the production. “The whole feeling of the show it’s very electrifying and magical – and with the lovers, the love that’s going on, there’s a lot of realism. It’s very high-stakes and emotional.”

The soundtrack, mixed by Alexander Brendan Ferguson, absolutely taps into the new breed of pop music, Bell added.

“There’s a lot of similarities to what my friends listen to and what I do.”

Glanville said one of his favourite movies is Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo+Juliet, which also mixes Shakespeare with modern themes. “We’re trying to appeal to what young people would find progressive.”

Today’s young people “live in an electronic and video world. We find another way in to access their interest. I wanted to try something totally different. Something no other companies have done is presenting a full length of the play with a younger cast.”

Fourty-four actors between age nine and 18 from Kaleidoscope’s graduate program make up the cast – and much of the set. For example, when the characters Hermia, Lysander, Helena and Demetrius fall asleep, cast members depicting trees drape over them.

The most important part of the play is it makes Shakespeare applicable and interesting to a young audience, by doing away with the “stodgy vibe” that sometimes accompanies the playwright’s works.

“It’s a great production for all ages because it doesn’t have that feel of Shakespeare. A lot of kids my age get the idea Shakespeare is boring because of classroom studies, but it’s really quite relatable,” Bell said.

ecardone@vicnews.com

 

Midsummer in fall

• When: Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 2, 7 p.m. and Nov. 26-27 and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.

• Where: McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Sq.

•Tickets: $28.75 at rmts.bc.ca or 250-386-6121

Just Posted

Police-run Youth for Change and Inclusion camp bids fond farewell to tireless directors

Founder Sgt. Paul Brookes has run camp empowering youth and creating leaders for 16 years

Canadians not afraid to take the plunge for the second time

Most will wait almost five years before remarrying

John Cleese sets fall date for Victoria return

June show sold out, comedic actor returns Nov. 4

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Pacific FC signs 24-year-old defensive midfielder from Panama

González joins the roster following the team’s 2-2 tie game against York9 FC.

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Most Read