There is nothing more stimulating for an audience, than a production of a classic play that fuses genres, which actually enhance the core plot. This is what Ruby In The Dust are creating with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream In New Orleans at The Arts Theatre (Upstairs). With over twelve previous productions under their belt, since their formation in 2007 by Linnie Reedman and Joe Evans, Ruby In The Dust have gained a well respected reputation.
Adapted and edited by Director Linnie Reedman A Midsummer Night’s Dream In New Orleans is loyal to the original text, whilst exploring the rich history and culture of the crumbling New Orleans Jazz Clubs, as well as the surrounding influences of early twentieth century Voodoo giving it a sense of grit. Oberon and Titania are portrayed as “The Night Tripper” and Voodoo Queen respectively, while the ‘Mechanicals’ form one of the earliest New Orleans jazz bands. ‘The play within a play’ evolves into a Mardis Gras style jam session.
This particular adaptation is certainly musically infused, with Musical Director Joe Evans receiving approval from the jazz legend Dr John to feature some of his greatest songs in the show. Along with the music of Louis Armstrong, Randy Newman and Professor Longhair (to name just a few), the Shakespeare classic is certainly going to be capturing the mood and rawness of jazz.
On Friday and Saturday evenings any musically minded audience members are also invited to bring their instrument to join in an after-show jam session with the cast. This is definitely a welcome addition to the production, as it means a sense of musical unity from a range of musicians from all genres who all have a passion for jazz.
ARTS THEATRE (Upstairs) 6 – 7 Great Newport Street London WC2H 7JB
Leicester Square Underground
August 4 to August 30 Tues – Sun 7:30pm
Tickets £25 Concs £22
Box office 0207 836 8463
My review of A Midsummer Night’s Dream In New Orleans will be published on http://musicaltheatrereview.com