Antic Disposition's funny and wise production of A Midsummer Night's Dream is staged in the Elizabethan grandeur of the Middle Temple Hall where suits of armour and portraits of English monarchs seem to join the audience and watch down upon the proceedings.
The local tradesmen of Athens are unperturbed by such surroundings: in a sweet touch, Quince, Bottom et al saunter into the hall and chat to the audience while they settle.
There is no set to speak of (save some ladders which are used by the fairies to perch upon and from which to spy upon the mortals), encouraging the audience to use their imaginations and Shakespeare's language to paint the landscape around them.
What really sets the piece apart is not its staging nor the harmonious (if over-cinematic) melodies by James Borrows, but its lively wit and joie de vivre.
The audience was delighted by touches such as Snout (Chris Waplington) giving Bottom (Nicholas White) a V-sign when asked to enact the chink in the wall. The Mechanicals are particularly noteworthy, especially slow-witted Snug (Chris David Storer) and camp tailor Starveling (Chris Courtenay) who practically channels Mr Humphries from Are You Being Served?