Last night I took my 10 year old son, Oliver, to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Citadel Theatre. He's almost 11 and is getting more mature and I felt that he was at a good age to expose him to Shakespeare. I knew that he wasn't going to 'get it all' but hopefully he would 'get' some of it and from what I heard about this production it would be a great first exposure.
For me, the stand out performances were Shannon Taylor as Helena (who was fiery and funny and who possesses an amazing physicality) and the Mechanicals as a group. I thought the show, as a whole, was well-executed and in particular the second act. This production was especially strong with the physical aspects, but engagement dropped a bit whenever the language was not supported by action. Personally I would have cut the dancing at the end and shorted the dancing fairies bit, as the show is long enough without that and although fun and/or pretty, those bits did nothing to move it along. Overall I enjoyed myself, but I was not blown out of the water. It is a challenge to sell Shakespeare at Citadel prices when we in Edmonton have Freewill Players doing such high quality productions every summer. With ticket prices 2-3 times higher at The Citadel I wanted the experience to be that much more incredible. It's hard to reach that when the bar is set so high already.