No doubt about it… Midsummer in Motion is a very unique interpretation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream.
Here’s Wikipedia’s synopsis of A Midsummer’s Night Dream: “…portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of 6 amateur actors, who are manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set.”
Austin Bike Zoo billed their production as a “pedal-powered Shakespearean fantasy.” That’s a pretty accurate description. Bikes were used for scene changes and even for a battle. I’m no expert, but the play seemed to be true to the Shakespearean version and the actors even spoke in old English. The fantasy part was fulfilled by steampunk costumes and performances by local aerial artists, Sky Candy, plus the kings, queens, and fairies that are part of the story line.
The lead actors were expressive and engaging, especially the two women playing the court jester (Puck) and the donkey (Nick Bottom). With no sound system and three inconsiderate talkative audience members nearby, the dialogue was often difficult to hear, and since the performance didn’t end until after dark, the final few scenes were somewhat hard to see. But twinkle lights, glow-in-the-dark bikes, and fairy flashlights added to the unusual ambiance of this production.
There are five more performances of Midsummer in Motion over the coming week; all except one are at Republic Square Park. Admission is free, but pass-the-hat donations are welcome.