To bring to life the scratchings on a page
Our artisans arrive to take the stage!

The Rude Mechanicals

An original musical by Richard Lamming and John Bessant

The Rude Mechanicals is a brand new musical comedy based upon William Shakespeare's magical play A Midsummer Night's Dream (1596). 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.' 

The show includes all of Shakespeare's lines for the six characters and some of those for several others, including the mortal Duke Theseus and Queen Hippolyta, and the Fairy King and Queen, Oberon and Titania. Further, new, dialogue is added, in the style of Shakespeare, to help the reduced storyline to make sense. The two sides of the nature Oberon's famous sidekick are assigned to two characters: Puck and Robin Goodfellow (the latter being the 'audience's friend').

 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, perhaps with some interpretative dance.

 The songs range from rock to classical, from reggae to rumba. All music is entirely original and scored either for a piano or (up to) a seven piece band.

 The show requires twelve singing principals and a chorus of between four and eight. As with all Shakespeare, the genders of actor and characters may be varied to suit preferences and accommodate practicalities.

A perfect show for a summer's evening

We wrote The Rude Mechanicals so that groups who would not wish to mount a full Shakespeare play could enjoy performing his beautiful prose in a different context.

 Similarly, people who would not usually go to see a Shakespeare play can enjoy his work in the more accessible atmosphere of a musical comedy.

 The show makes for a great summer evening entertainment and does not need elaborate staging. It is possible to perform with a single piano, perhaps augmented by percussion, bass and guitar, or with a more extensive musical group (help can be provided in scoring for brass and wind if desired).

The Characters

For a list of the characters and some notes about them, see HERE


The Songs

You can listen to, and watch, some of the songs from the show HERE.
Performance backing tracks and a full musical score are available.


The Rude Mechanicals  is available for productions by professional and community theatre companies. Please contact us for details. HERE

The Premiere

The show had a wonderful first outing in 2016, courtesy of Bishopsteignton Players, a community theatre group in South Devon. Reviews were ecstatic!

The Kurtz 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 so much 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.

The Rude Mechanicals is Copyright 2015 Richard Lamming and John Bessant 

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