By Roger Warren (auth.)
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Extra info for A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Text and Performance
183). Jan Kott's and Peter Brook's attitudes to Shakespeare's text closely correspond. Kott's dismissive phrase 'chattering about flowers' clearly implies that the language which Shakespeare gives to Titania is of no account and can simply be disregarded. The text itself does not matter to him, only what Brook calls the 'hidden play behind the text'. But of course the dramatic point which Shakespeare is making depends upon his very precise use of language, upon the humorous contrast between the formal lyrical verse with which Titania declares her love for Bottom, and the colloquially self-important prose with which he responds to it.
Kemp's account of Michael Benthall's 1949 Stratford production. He found it magnificent in detail, but short in rustic enchantment. James Bailey's rich Veronese palace, the sumptuous Renaissance-Greek costumes, the bevies of tulle-draped ballerinas, the black-garbed cohort that attended Oberon, the trunk-tortured depths of the forest and the spangled starlight of the Athenian night, all these made for theatrical opulence rich and rare. (The Straiford Festival, 1953, p. ) He thought, however, that all this opulence overwhelmed the magic rather than enhancing it.
Sara Kestelman as Titania. 5. Robin Phillips's production, Stratford, Ontario, 1977. Maggie Smith as Hippolyta. Note the deliberate resemblance to Elizabeth I. Maggie Smith doubled Hippolyta with Titania. Photograph: Zoe Dominic. 6. Elijah Moshinsky's production, BBC TV, 1981. Titania:s bower: Brian Glover as Bottom, Helen Mirren as Titania. BBC copyright photograph. Part Two: Performance 57 Titania's 'Be kind and courteous' speech-song was repositioned to follow the dialogue between Bottom and the fairies, and her line 'To have my love to bed and to arise' was repeated at the end of the song, with 'arise' interpreted in such a way that the song could lead directly into a wild orgasmic conclusion.