A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a cold and slightly wet Paris

Because a book club friend had recommended this, but I couldn’t go on the day she suggested, yesterday I booked myself a seat for a Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed in English by the Tower Theatre Company, at the Théâtre de Verdure in the Bois de Boulogne. Yes it was a weekday, but my work prefers to give me loads of holidays rather than pay me any “overtime”. So a few deadlines to be met over the past couple of months means me time and a few outings to Paris, of which this was one.

I talked to a friend I haven’t seen in years (an ex colleague) about the play, she could make it too, so we met at this theatre in the Pré Catelan, she having braved the Bois de Boulogne on foot from the bus stop, me having braved it from the relative safety of my car. As I was wasn’t sure where I was going, and my GPS decided it no longer knew where it was the minute I entered the Bois de Boulogne (perhaps my GPS is a prude?) I had to keep going slowly to read the signs, which was instantly interpreted as kerb crawling…
Anyway, we both really enjoyed the play from our front row seats. The majority of the audience was made up of students, but they were attentive and enjoyed it too, especially Bottom’s heavy comedy.  I liked the girls, especially Hermia, who I think has the best part in the play. It was in period costume, although of course with Shakespeare, it’s always a fine debating point what “period” means, in this case a bit of the Elizabethan age for and a bit of pseudo ancient Greece. The open air setting is lovely, with a weeping willow becoming a prop, a hedge hiding a singer. I thought the actors played well and of course, the play’s the thing. 
The only downer was the weather, not so much the rain (a few drops now and then, but everyone was prepared with raincoats and hats) but I just wasn’t dressed warmly enough… The Tower Theatre Company proudly says on its website that in 20 years of doing these shows in Paris, they have only  cancelled a performance twice because of poor weather. The staff assured me that, so long as there is an audience, there is a play. The audience in this case was certainly happy to stay, but I have to say I felt for the fairies in their floaty dresses, and I’m sure part of the reason why the ladies were so glad to get married was because they got to wear a shawl for their nuptials…  

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