Our early heatwave provided a balmy evening for Saturday's preview performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the RSC's Courtyard Theatre.
Director Gregory Doran and his production team create an onstage world of shadows, reflections and surprises in which a tip-top team of actors are set free to bring an ancient text vividly and hilariously to life.
The four lovers (Lysander is a dead ringer for the young Rupert Everett) are crisply characterised, with Kathryn Drysdale providing a memorable mighty atom as Hermia.
The punky fairies have the requisite allure and hint of danger, each one manipulating a tiny 'daemon' in the form of a jointed doll. Titania's Indian boy (the cause of her big-time fall-out with husband Oberon) is an exquisite life-sized puppet, manipulated with great delicacy by the cast.
Joe Dixon's Bottom is, er, magnificent - as are all his fellow 'actors' in the interlude of Pyramus and Thisbe - with special mention to Ricky Champ whose underwear-related issues as the all-important Wall bring the house down.
Note to RSC gift shop: 'Stock up on red Y-fronts now - you'll make a fortune.'
In short, a glorious, magical Dream. Hurrah!