2.30pm Sat, Sun, Unicorn Arts Theatre, Great Newport St, London WC2 (0171- 836 3334) and in rep to 8 November. Tickets pounds 4.50-pounds 8.50
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This weekend, why not eschew the usual round of funfairs, skating rinks and risible Hollywood heartwarmers, and take your kids to see Shakespeare in the theatre? There's a lot to be said for that initially daunting proposition: you'll feel like you're doing something well worthy for your offspring, and they'll probably end up having a really good time as well as being edified. That's the idea behind the Unicorn Arts Theatre's laudable series entitled "Introducing Young Audiences to the Classics", the latest of which is a new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, aimed at the over- eights. A good choice: the combination of sadistic fairies, slapstick humour and a dash of magic is liable to score a hit with all but the most Sega-brainwashed youngsters. "We always put on exactly what someone would put on for adults - the quality is always first class," explains the Unicorn's Dot Wooder. This Dream has been abridged by Andy Rashleigh - in essence, the first and last scenes have been cut - but otherwise it's full-on, modern-dress Shakespeare stuffed, as Wooder emphasises, with "action, music and colour". David Collins, previously of the ENO, has designed an intriguing set that consists of silver ladders for the fairies, and a mirrored floor for the humans; the cast are all adult Equity actors; and the music has been specially written. "We make a point of not patronising children," insists Wooder. So go patronise her theatre.