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y separately published work icon The Popular Mechanicals : A Funny New Old Play single work   musical theatre   humour  
Issue Details: First known date: 1992... 1992 The Popular Mechanicals : A Funny New Old Play
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

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.

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Teaching Resources

This work has teaching resources.

Via State Theatre Company of South Australia.

Notes

  • 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.

  • This entry has been sourced from on-going historical research into Australian-written music theatre being conducted by Dr Clay Djubal.

Production Details

  • Performed at the Parade Theatre, Kensington, NSW 31 March to 4 April, 2009.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Currency Press ; Belvoir Street Theatre , 1992 .
      Extent: 52p.
      Description: illus., ports.
      Note/s:
      • Subtitle has 'old' crossed out and 'new' substituted above it.
      ISBN: 0868193402 (pbk.)
      Series: Current Theatre Series Currency Press (publisher), 1983- series - publisher 'Current Theatre Series consists of Australian plays published with the program inserted and sold during theatre seasons. The aim of the series is to promote and encourage new dramatic writing and make it accessible to theatregoers and the public. The text is presented at the first day of rehearsal and does not contain changes which the author may choose to make after the play has commenced its present season - these will be incorporated into any new edition published by Currency.' Currency Press.
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Contemporary Australian Plays Russell Vandenbroucke , London : Methuen , 2001 Z869352 2001 anthology drama musical theatre (taught in 1 units) London : Methuen , 2001 pg. 299-367
    Note: Includes introduction by the director of the first production , Geoffrey Rush.

Works about this Work

Lori Prepares for Centre Stage Matt Gilbertson , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 8 November 2015; (p. 86)
Taylor Bent on Sexual Offence Rosemary Neill , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian , 10 June 1992; (p. 16)
Mechanicals Put on a Play Without the Play Bob Evans , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 21 November 1987; (p. 92)

— Review of The Popular Mechanicals : A Funny New Old Play Tony Taylor , Keith Robinson , 1992 single work musical theatre
Mechanicals Put on a Play Without the Play Bob Evans , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 21 November 1987; (p. 92)

— Review of The Popular Mechanicals : A Funny New Old Play Tony Taylor , Keith Robinson , 1992 single work musical theatre
Taylor Bent on Sexual Offence Rosemary Neill , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian , 10 June 1992; (p. 16)
Lori Prepares for Centre Stage Matt Gilbertson , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 8 November 2015; (p. 86)
Last amended 19 Jun 2018 14:34:00
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