Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Tantrum Youth Arts.
Civic Playhouse (ended Saturday)
THE opening minutes of Alex Travers’ revised, lengthened version of her 2017 Crack Theatre Festival show had Ophelia, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, waking from sleep and looking into a mirror.
She was quickly joined by two other Ophelias, who virtually emerged from mirrors and supported her views about the often-bad behaviour of men when dealing with women, seeing them as inferior. The trio kept watchers engaged with the comedy produced by their words and interactions underlining their complaints.
The three Ophelias (Alex Travers, Karen Burns and Amy Morris) amusingly caught audience attention when they fought over a gold crown, tiny Danish flag, and small bunch of pink flowers, with each trying to show she was the real Ophelia.
Their complaints led to critical offstage male voices making declarations, such as the quote from Hamlet that “frailty, thy name is woman”.
There were also sharply-worded references to things such as St Valentine’s Day and the statement made by many women that “I am enough”, and the allusions by Travers’ Ophelia to laws in countries that spare men from trials for giving women unwanted sexual treatment certainly showed there has been too little change since Shakespeare’s day.
Director Danielle Asquith helped make this an engaging work, with the use of mirrors, curtains and flowers adding to its down-to-earth nature.