Arts Review

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Queensland Ballet’s A Midsummer Night's Dream is a spellbinding spectacle that evokes a sense of wonder. Every detail from the light reflecting particles on the dancer’s costumes through to the set design, that was cleverly constructed and designed to utilise the entire surface area of the stage, of this production was carefully thought out, with very clear and conscious decision making behind the scenes and artistic input from Leanne Benjamin, whom has taken the reigns to propel Queensland Ballet into a new direction.


Queensland Ballet’s A Midsummer Night's Dream set construction was almost reminiscent of Cats the Musical as there were various levels that made for suitable launch pads and nooks and crannies where cast members could appear from, forming an overall intricate and interconnected space that felt like a fairy ‘wonderland’ of sorts. Leanne Benjamin seems to lean more towards themes of curiosity and exploration, in stark contrast to the previous Artistic Director Li Cunxin, who was known to indulge audiences in both the dramatic and theatrical aspects of the art form, and the lavish sets and grandiosity that is often seen with these kinds of productions. As the first mainstage production of the year, A Midsummer Night's Dream is set to both exceed expectations and delight audiences, stepping foot into the remainder of the 2024 season. As there is plenty more to come, it will be interesting to see how Leanne Benjamin further develops these concepts and overarching themes, and which stories she chooses to place in the spotlight, and breathe life into.


A Midsummer Night's Dream puts a new spin on a classic tale and welcomes audiences of all ages and abilities to step into a whole new world of creative direction and expression. Backed by the Live Music Partner Camerata Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra the performance was not only aesthetically pleasing in terms of the detailing of the costume and the intricate set design, but was aurally appealing as carefully composed and conducted symphonies, including vocal arrangements that added a nice touch, featured in the performance.


The co-production of Queensland Ballet and Royal New Zealand Ballet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, first performed in Wellington, New Zealand, on 20 August 2015, is a real treat as ANZ audiences will get the chance, after nine years and post COVID-19 lockdowns to experience the retelling of the timeless Shakespearean tale on the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Playhouse Theatre stage, performed by both seasoned dancers and rising talent. While Li Cunxin will be dearly missed, Leanne Benjamin throws Queensland Ballet into a new light, from both a public facing and performative perspective, and encourages you to look through the lens of your inner child, and embrace the wonder and joy that is often felt with fairytales.


12-27 April 2024

Playhouse, QPAC


Review: Joanna Letic

Photographer: David Kelly


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