Play with music.
Adapted from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Popular Mechanicals is described by theatre critic Bob Evans as a low-brow, absurdist and occasionally poetical play without the play ('The Popular Mechanicals' q.v., p2). While most of the scenes from Shakespeares's comedy are presented, Robinson and Taylor have inserted into its framework a combination of songs, puppetry, their own material (including jokes), and excerpts from other works by Shakespeare's (notably speeches from Richard II and Henry V).
The most significant departure from the original text occurs during the scene in which Bottom is transformed into an ass while rehearsing in the woods. His replacement is Ralph Mowldie, a once great Shakespearian actor with a drinking problem.
1987 : Belvoir Street Theatre, Sydney; 19 November 1987 - Prod. Company B ; Dir. Geoffrey Rush ; Design Stephen Curtis ; Lighting Elizabeth Allen. - Cast: Paul Blackwell (Snug, the joiner), Gillian Hyde (Robin Starveling), Keith Robinson (Quince, the director), Peter Rowley (Bottom / Mowldie), Tony Taylor (Francis Flute), Kerry Walker (Tom Snout, the tinker). NB: Presented as a double bill with Jim and Bames (In Bali) by Glynn Nicholas and Tony Lyttle.
The production later toured Australia.
2015 : State Theatre Company of South Australia, 6 November - 28 November 2015 - Dir. Sarah Giles ; Design Jonathon Oxlade ; Lighting Mark Pennington ; Sound David Heinrich. - Cast: includes Amber McMahon.
2017 : Sydney Theatre Company, 10 April - 13 May 2017 - Dir. Sarah Giles ; Design Jonathon Oxlade ; Lighting Mark Pennington. - Cast: Lori Bell, Julie Forsyth, Charles Mayer, Amber McMahon, Tim Overton, Rory Walker.