14 NOVEMBER 1958, Page 6

I HAVE LONG SINCE ceased to be surprised who West

End producers turn a Shakespeare charac ter upside-down for their amusement (i11,tking serious part comic being the commonest trick) but I was surprised to find the same thing happening in the BBC in their production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Puck, I have always assumed, is the English version of Till Eulenspiegel; a merry young rapscallion with the ' face of an angel and an unlimited capacity for mischief which sometimes takes the form of more or less hurtful practical jokes, but which has no real malice behind it. Admittedly he is referred to as knavish, but I take that to be in the old tarts- stealing sense rather than the one in which it is used in the second verse of 'God Save the Queen.' In this produCtion, though, Puck was made to look like a fugitive from the court of the Troll King, with huge claws on his hands.