Midsummer's Bottom
by Darren Dash
Home of the Damned Ltd

"'Four hundred years of watching the same play. Can you even begin to imagine how torturous that is?'"

Del Chapman is a modern-day nomad, a man who relishes freedom and a lifestyle that embraces chaos. After being willing to try life the normal way, he quits his job by spreading a debilitating computer virus and ends up fleeing from the Limerick police. While hiding in the woods, a mysterious man appears in Del’s stolen car who claims to be none other than the infamous Puck. Stealing Del away to Feyland, Puck explains that in exchange for telling their story, Shakespeare made a deal that Oberon, Titania, and all of Feyland must attend each and every performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Not expecting the longevity of the play, they are now sick of seeing their story acted out and recruit Del to disband the most offensively amateurish production around in order to steal some relief.

Written in five acts like a Shakespearean play and often embracing iambic pentameter whenever the fairies are concerned, this story borrows much from the play it revolves around. It is comedic, a little hectic, and the strength of its rich cast keeps things moving at a delightfully entertaining pace. When Del meets the Midsummer Players, he has already observed them and knows their vices and unhappiness—from the lovers Don and Ingrid who cheat on each other with a carnivorous diet and polygamy respectively to the cross-dressing Felix and the socially inept Diarmid. As Del weaves his machinations behind the scenes, chaos grows within the troupe until it reaches a boiling point in the hysterically unpredictable final act. Taking a classic comedy and twisting it for a modern audience, this unique tale is that rare reimagination of elements of a classic story that captures all the comedy, drama, and emotional satisfaction of its original and in some ways exceeds them.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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