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A Midsummer Night's Dream From The East - One4Review

South Korean theatre company Yohangza are full of enthusiasm and energy, with unique Korean-style movements, facial expression and vocalization. The best known section of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ is when the lovers Hermia and Lysander travel through the forest to escape her fathers wrath, followed by her friend Helena and Demetrius, her father’s preferred suitor. Whilst lost in the night Oberon and the meddling Puck play with the humans lives. Simultaneously Oberon angered by his queen Titania, places an enchantment on her to fall in love with the first living thing she sees. The Yohangza company show the fairies from Korean mythical folklore (Tokebi) having a big party, Oberon becomes Dot played by Park Sun Hee, the Queen of the Tokebi. Oberon is angry with Titanis now Kabi (Kwon Young Ho) because of his philandering with every human woman he meets. Sending Puck now called Duduri a particularly mischievous Tokebi who has been split into twins (Jeon Jung Young and Chang Hyn Seok) after a foul smelling plant which bewitches anyone to fall in love with the next living thing they see. Whilst wandering through the forest Oberon sees Helena now Ik (Kim Eun Hee) and Demetrius now Rue (Kim Jun Wan) and decides to help Ik in her wooing of Rue. Mistakenly the Puck’s place the enchantment on Lysander now Hang (Lee Seoung Hwan), who wakes to find Ik and falls madly in love with her. Hermia now Byock (Kim Jee Young) wakens to find herself deserted. On finding the others she is distraught to find everything has changed. Bottom becomes Ajumi (Park So Young) and is an old woman wandering looking for herbs she is turned into a pig, she becomes the first living thing Dot sees and falls madly in love with. Full of amazing costumes, superb makeup, the performers all sing, dance and play musical instruments.  Although only a few words of English are spoken the piece is so well performed we don’t need any translations. For me this has been one of my Fringe highlights so far. See it if you can. *****

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