“With his musical characterization of Bottom, Robinson simply excels”
Admittedly, Shakespeare has provided excellent subject matter with this character – no faux pas or clumsiness would go past this blunderer. The meeting between him and Titania could not be more extreme, as is depicted through the music yet again.
The weaver called Bottom is a craftsman, and far down in the class system, who has his head transformed into that of a donkey. That the Queen of the Fairies falls prey to a donkey’s head is not exactly flattering, but for the viewer it is of inestimable pleasure and also provides a mirror of the society of the time. To reinforce the dramatic pleasure the action is fused with the diverse musical interpretation by John Robinson. Bottom comes across simplistically and awkwardly in the musical setting of his dream.
Added to this is a sudden change of pace. Bottom’s dream reflects somewhat a lyrical endeavour, also because of the limited tonal range – fitting to the outlook of the weaver.