The Luminato contest I won on Saturday gave me a pair of tickets to each of The End of Cinematics, A Throw of Dice, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Of the three, I only actually made it out to AMSND. At first the problem was that I had to pick up the tickets within business hours (9-5) at the Luminato office (downtown Toronto). Then they switched it to the box office, but still I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the events. In fact, I’ve read the description for the first one 3 or 4 times and I still don’t understand what it is.

This version of AMSND is also non-traditional. The Toronto Star describes Tim Supple’s version of AMSND as:

Supple’s play is cast with actors from all over India and while 50 per cent of the text is still spoken in English, the rest is delivered in seven different Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Sinhalese and Sanskrit.

As you can expect, it was very confusing. Athough I studied the play in English class, and read the synopsis beforehand; it was difficult for me to understand what was happening. Even when the players were speaking English, I had trouble comprehending because there was a double barrier: first I had to parse their Indian-accented english, and then I had to translate the Shakespearean English to what they’re actually saying.

It was because of this that I was immediately put off. I don’t think I was alone, because the reception during its North America tour hasn’t been stellar, and there were a lot of empty seats. Our entire row was empty! and we had decent seats (2nd row Mezzanine).

I didn’t think it was a complete waste of time though. If you’ve read AMSND, you’ll know that a large part of the story revolves around faries. By using ribbon acrobatics and wooden supports on the sets, the faries were able to be mimic spying of the humans. There were also no breaks between the acts (except for the one intermission) so Puck had the responsibility of updating or cleaning up the set while some of the other actors continued. There was also some dancing (not Bollywood style) and the aforementioned ribbon acrobatics.

While it wouldn’t be something I would pay to see, it wasn’t that bad; and if I had an Indian background, I would probably enjoy it.