Peter Holland is Wilson University Lecturer in Drama at the Faculty of English, Cambridge University. He is also a drama reviewer for BBC radio and the TLS, a Syndic of Cambridge University Press, and a Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company; he has published widely on theatre generally and Shakespeare in particular
Gr 10 Up-William Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed, and today's students and readers of them are in for an enjoyable listening experience with this unabridged and fully dramatized version of one of his most popular romantic comedies. With its diversified combination of plot materials including classical Greek mythology, fairy lore, love story and the amateur Elizabethan play within this play, A Midsummer Night's Dream can be a difficult play to follow and understand. However, many of he cast members here are accomplished Shakespearean actors, and they skillfully deliver the bard's poetic and masterful language. Locating specific scenes and dialogue from the play is simple with these CDs, as they are identified in an accompanying booklet by the numbered tracks. Listeners will be delighted to easily follow the various enchanted lovers, comic actors, ad fairy characters through the moral and mystical worlds of the play. Beginning and concluding this production and providing musical interludes between scenes is the Scholars Baroque Ensemble, performing historical music from Purcell's "The Fairy Queen." An excellent audio addition to Shakespeare collections.-Marilyn Higgins, Metuchen High School, NJ
One in a series of new editions of Shakespeare's plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream is suitable for use in high schools and compares very favorably with other editions currently available. The text is clear, and notes on the facing page make for easy reference. The edition includes an introduction to the play and to Shakespeare and a brief but useful note on Shakespeare's language and on the Globe theater. At the back are act-by-act study questions, writing assignments, and suggestions for other creative activities.-Bryan Aubrey, Fairfield, Ia.
`The commentary is admirably lucid and undogmatic on textual variants ... The introduction is of the kind that ponders and explores. Holland's method is to take each aspect or element of the play and consider it in the light of earlier traditions ... his critical position emerges unobtrusively but persuasively from the attested facts.' M.M. Mahoud, YES, 27, 1996