For those who seek to have a key to hearts of the country’s youth can rest assured that the ages-old Shakespeareana is alive and well. Yesterday evening, we saw that in evidence at the Sri Ram Kala Kendra when the girls of Janki Devi Memorial College staged A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.
While the full house at the auditorium must have been composed of mostly the casts doting parents or even the girls’ boy-friends, the rendition of Shakespeare’s comedy did not reflect any amateurishness.
Instead, it reflected the sheer dedication and commitment of the cast and the crew with the director, a young Kuljit Singh, showing his prowess in elements of a successful drama like characterization, dialogue and stagecraft.
Considering that this was an all-girls troupe, Lysander and Demetrius, had to develop the macho body-language of young Athenian suitors who formed a love triangle with Hermia, only to later expand it into a quadrilateral, with the inclusion of Helena, over a night of dreams. Of course, the lovable villain, Puck had to create some confusion amongst the lovers with a magic potion given by Oberon.
The drama after this Puckish mischief becomes fairly intense with emotions boiling up to the surface, only to be later settled in favour of the well-matched couples.
Of particular note is the cameo played by the group of Plebeians who were asked to perform for the amusement of the Aristocrats, played by Joyce Sebastian with the usual elan of a free soul.
The music was handled entirely by students and was greatly appreciated. Janki Devi College has a Shakespeare Society that is led by the English Literature department of the college.