Before embarking on a national tour, The Globe brings a reworking of its 2013 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the Rose Theatre for just three days. In this lively, entertaining enactment of one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated plays, the comic handling of such well-known material is effortlessly funny as the actors become vessels to Shakespeare’s timeless comedy.

This production breathes life into the cobwebs of one of Shakespeare’s most re-imagined plays, not necessarily for being overwhelmingly different, but for its energy. The pacing of the play is cleverly manipulated to take advantage of every comedic moment, slowing down to almost freeze-frame the classic points of humour. The tangled misfortunes of the four Athenian lovers are so well-known almost to be obvious at this point, but the staging and direction of this production are delightfully refreshing.

Immediately, the quality of Jonathan Fensom’s design is evident. With their rustic and magical costumes, the fairies’ interaction with the natural set design and trance-like movements provide a glimpse of Shakespeare’s imagined fairy world. As the four lovers try in desperate futility to reach their loved one, their every attempt is thwarted by fairies comically blocking their paths with branches, and thus the forest is brought to life. As the lovers’ misfortunes unfold into impossible tangles, so the energy is maintained – impressively so for a fairly long play of two and a half hours running time. Even as it starts to show, the actors entertain and enchant the audience with hilarious character quirks and long, melodramatic and passionate soliloquies. The cheeky, sprightly and boyish characterisations of Molly Logan’s Puck particularly stand out.

The unlikely and eclectic group ‘The Mechanicals’ are also a highlight. The exaggerated and melodramatic character traits of the six individual tradesmen as they play off each other on stage are highly amusing; the strength of the humour is grounded in the fact it does not take itself too seriously. The comedy and entertainment throughout mean that this production successfully and effortlessly engages a modern audience, although occasionally the simple, silly comedic techniques are at a fault of treading too close to the line of ‘too far’.

“Are you sure that we are awake? It seems to me that yet we sleep, we dream.” Spoken toward the end of the play, this line encompasses the strange and otherworldly magic of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that director Dominic Dromgoole’s production captures so well. Although it is first and foremost a comedy, the natural, dreamlike costumes, eerie music accompaniment and inventive staging mean Shakespeare’s fairy world is not lost.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream played at the Rose Theatre until 7 September. For more information on the tour and to buy tickets see the Shakespeare’s Globe website.