Great performances anchor ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in Cowichan

The Shawnigan Players put a shine on summer with their production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The Shawnigan Players put a shine on summer with their production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Performed outdoors, the setting only adds further lustre to this excellent presentation of one of the Bard’s delightful comedies.

There’s no weak spot anywhere in this cast: from the four troubled young lovers to the feuding fairies, Titania and Oberon.

Lysander (Matt Williams) and Hermia (Kimberley Phillips) are in love, but unfortunately, Demetrius (Jacob Dennison) also thinks little Hermia is a dainty dish leaving his ever-loving Helena (Kaatrina Gallagher, who was incorrectly identified in last week’s Citizen) sobbing on the sidelines. You just know Shakespeare would never leave that alone. Nor does he.

Meanwhile, the jealous Oberon (Marinus Vesseur) and Titania (Mahalia Benty) are fighting again. And the mischievous Puck (Laura Faulkner) is just the catalyst to set their rocky relationship teetering crazily. Faulkner’s zest for her role is palpable and Benty and Vesseur produce some pretty hot scenes as a pair who can’t live with or without each other.

And, of course, there are the clueless clods in the play within a play: they are all wonderful, especially Bill Levity, who pulls out all the stops in his presentation of Bottom, the scene stealing ham who is turned into the ass who captures Titania’s heart.

With all these and a duke all to ready to marry a captured lady, some delightful dancers and more, there’s a lot to like in this light-hearted play, especially as it’s presented in the open air, in the midst of an orchard.

The show continues Aug. 11, 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $20 at the gate of the Gem o’ the Isle at 2465 Koksilah Rd. Don’t miss it.