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Dream doesn’t run smoothly

10 November, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

A Caribbean Dream relocates the Bard’s play to Barbados

A CARIBBEAN DREAM
Directed by Shakirah Bourne
Certificate PG
☆☆☆

IN recent years there have been some very good Shakespeare adaptations that have made the Bard’s work so gorgeously accessible and relevant. Think of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, or the best of the lot, Sir Ian McKellen’s Richard III. Even Shakespeare In Love earns its spurs as an “in” to think afresh about the playwright.

Then there are some that make you feel they are basically thespian indulgences – Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing left me pretty cold.

This retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is somewhere in between. It feels fairly raw but that gives it a sense of fun and charm. Its amateur feel adds to the enjoyment, but it at times is hampered by a low budget that requires to you to take a rather large leap of faith.

Set in Barbados during carnival time, Shakespeare’s story of love and magic is changed about to a degree to take in island folklore, an idea of shared British and Barbadian heritage, and plenty of woodland frolicking and mystery.

This is naïve stuff at times, but perhaps is better for it. This wasn’t one of Shakespeare’s serious plays, after all.

It doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t and so has a lot of charm. And the actors clearly enjoy themselves – Patrick Michael Foster’s Puck is excellent, as is Adrian Green as Oberon.

However, some tighter editing would certainly have helped: some scenes linger too long. But taking the story to the Caribbean is a nice angle and offers something a little different and, above all, fun.

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