A dream of a show for a summer’s evening!
The Rude Mechanicals is our new musical comedy based on Shakespeare’s magical play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The focus is on the antics of the six artisans who combine their theatrical abilities and efforts to form the amateur dramatics group that the mercurial fairy, Puck, calls “Rude Mechanicals.“
It’s a light-hearted show (not a pantomime) ideal for touring/ repertory companies, community theatres, and schools. The show includes all of Shakespeare’s text for the six characters and some for several others, including Duke Theseus and Queen Hippolyta, and the fairy king and queen, Oberon and Titania. New dialogue is added to help the story line make sense. The two sides of the nature of Oberon’s famous sidekick are assigned to two characters: Puck and Robin Goodfellow. The action takes place in ancient Greece but it can be set in any period.
The nobles at Theseus’ court form a chorus (4-8, plus the Master of Revels, Philostrate) with opportunities for dancing as well as singing. Later, the chorus reappears as woodland fairy folk. It is possible to include further fairies, with some interpretative dance. The songs range from rock to R&B, madrigal to melodrama, reggae to rumba. All music and lyrics are entirely original.
The show requires twelve singing principals. As with all Shakespeare, the genders of actor and characters may be varied to suit preferences and accommodate practicalities. Shakespeare’s beautiful verse is mixed with normal modern dialogue; the songs are integrated into the action and several have dance sequences.
Performance can be accompanied by a single keyboard, a band of any size, or the specially created MP3 backing tracks
The production package includes hire of returnable scripts, piano/vocal scores and lyrics books, licence to perform and purchase of CD/USB with vocal demos and orchestrated backing tracks for use in practice, performance.
Have a listen – or a look!
Vocal demos of some of the songs from the show can be heard by selecting them in the player below.
Here’s a selection of great videos from the Bishopsteignton Players production:
- Robin Goodfellow and Puck describing Theseus’ wooing in Cherchez la Femme
- Hyppolyta asking Theseus What Are You Going to Do?
- The Rude Mechanicals explaining that The Play’s the Thing!
- Bottom explaining what happens When Pyramus Meets Thisbe
- Becks Jones performing Puck’s Lullaby
- Steve Allen, as Bottom, with Pyramus’s Love Solo
- Pippa West, as Flute, with Thisbe’s Love Solo
- Flute in Love : a ballet interlude
- Steve and Pippa with Pyramus and Thisbe Love Duet
- and the finale: Now Our Show is Over
A fun evening
Here are some of the Reviews the show received at the Bishopsteignton Players “pop-up premiere” in 2016 (and we have the emails to prove it!):
“The Kurt Weill influences were terrific.” (Liz S.)
“We think William Shakespeare would have been well pleased with your interpretation of his work.” (Alan C.)
“I loved the combination of Shakespeare and modern” (Rosemary R.)
“Wow! What an incredible production!! … Thank you for such a superb evening and for making me laugh so much!! I was blown away by the whole thing.” (Lis D.)
“A spectacular show, very colourful and enjoyable” (David M.)