Deep in the ethereal forest on a Midsummer’s eve (okay—the Demonstration Room at Summerhall, early evening) enters Titania …
She is in full character already, flirting with the audience and handing out fairy flowers to unsuspecting audience members, in this one woman show. Anna-Helena McLean (Director and Founder of Moon Fool) is the performer and she is certainly what would be deemed a “triple threat” in Performing Arts circles. She has comedic timing, a stunning and variable vocal, can play the Cello, perform unbelievable vocal acrobatics, tell a story and move gracefully—all in one well put together performance.
The staging is simple: a circle of grass in the centre of the floor holds everything McLean needs to carry out her solo cabaret act, and she performs it ably—even changing music with her feet! The only thing she doesn’t seem to do herself is the lighting, which is soft and subtle and in keeping with this setting of the popular Shakespearean play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which McLean tells from the Queen of the Fairies point of view.
There is audience participation, which although welcome by some, can at times feels uncomfortable as not all the participants are as eager, and at times McLean’s lyrics are lost to overpowering backing tracks. The audience members familiar with this William Shakespeare classic, fare rather better at understanding what’s going on than those who are less so, but although this is not to everyone’s taste perhaps, it is impressive nonetheless.
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