TO produce a top-notch Shakespeare in under two hours - including an interval - is quite an achievement.

Here we have the type of fresh adaptation I wish had been on offer when I was at school instead of some of the turgid marathons we had to sit through.

Here Daniel Taylor Productions bring back their Midsummer Night's Dream which was such an impressive hit last years.

It is clear to see why it is so popular because it is easy on the ear and easy on the eyes.

It is also very, very funny.

All in all it is an accomplished compact version of one of the Bard’s best comedies.

The 19-strong versatile ensemble cast present the whimsical story of the impending marriage of the Duke of Athens to the Queen of the Amazons.

There is also the tale of four Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors called The Mechanicals.

All of the characters are magically manipulated by the feisty fairies who inhabit the forest where the play is set.

A huge backdrop moon and drapes as trees create the illusion.

The cast relish their subject matter in Helen Jeffery’s clever adapation and it shows.

Director Daniel Taylor (who plays Bottom) uses the Epstein's interior to maximum effect with the fairies perched in the recess alcoves during the show and the royal family sitting in the balcony at one stage.

Puck is the naughty narrator and he is performed with all the glee of an over-grown excitable puppy by talented James Templeton.

Lenny Wood is a dim-wtted, thick as brick Snout who method acts as the 'wall' in the play within a play.

Music is atmospheric throughout from a merry on- stage set of musicians and they conclude with a lovely song which sends the audience out into the Mid-spring night with smiles on their faces.

Daniel Taylor has a winning formula on his hands I’d like to see more Shakespeares in two hours.

School parties would get a lot out of such inventive treatments.

This production alternates with Romeo and Juliet, which is also given the distinctive Taylor-made touch.

Bottoms Up!

Four stars

The show is at the Epstein Theatre until a week on Saturday, April 21.

Tickets from the box office on 0844 888 4411.