The University of Birmingham   Touchstone
The British Library   Co-operation and Partnership among UK Shakespeare Collections.
Touchstone : Welcome
Enquiry Service
Touchstone Database
Enquiry Service
News and Events
Shakespeare in Performance
Studying Shakespeare
Shakespeare Associations
Online Exhibition
Links

 

Online Exhibition

 

Peter Brook's A Midsummer Night's Dream 1970

Bottom's Transformation

Bottom’s translation into an ass was achieved simply through a pair of long ears on an upturned cap, black button nose, and clogs (which the fairies attached when holding him down). This helped the actor by not having his facial expressions hid behind a mask. David Waller as Bottom manipulated his face and body to further enhance his transformation. Another endowment of the ass was added when one of the fairies thrust his arm and clenched fist through Bottom’s legs as he was carried away to Titania’s bower.  

 

Titania, Bottom, and fairies. 
Wide-angle view of stage as Bottom is carried off to Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. Note use of gallery above (actors scattering “confetti”, and use of ropes) Photographer: Joe Cocks
(1977) Bottom sings to Titania. The contrast in size and movement between the mortal and the fairy were more marked than usual with this large genial and nervous Bottom and an elfin, otherworldly Titania.
(1994) Bottom and Titania. Photographer: Malcolm Davies. The pink umbrella furnished Titania with her bower, wide enough to accommodate her new lover, whose crash helmet had sprouted ass’s ears under Puck’s magic. The influence of Brook’s production can be seen in the bower and Bottom’s transformation.

To continue, select a topic:

Stage Devises The Mechanicals
The Fairies  Bottom's Transformation
The Lovers Pyramus and Thisbe
The Forest The Blessing of the House

Back to Midsummer Night's Dream exhibition home page

 


Maintained by:
touchstone@bham.ac.uk
Last updated: November 02, 2010
Designed by: DoubleK Design