A funny thing happened to me on the way to the theatre this evening.
Shakespeare’s greatest clowns—the rude mechanicals from A Midsummer Night’s Dream— take centrestage in this wild reimagining of what might have happened off-stage during the Bard’s most loved comedy.
Perhaps the most famous group of amateur thespians of all time, the cast of the play-within-a-play Pyramus and Thisbe, bumble their way through rehearsals, misadventures and sheer idiocy in an hysterically funny mix of verse, song and dance.
Using snippets of the existing text of A Midsummer Night’s Dream along with a gloriously cod version
of Shakespearean English, the play exalts in its own roughness, extravagance of expression and frequent
obscenity—in the nicest possible way.
Clowning, vaudeville, slapstick, farce, stand-up comedy and bad puppetry come together with both witty
badinage and fart jokes to create an anarchic and thrillingly unhinged carnival that revels in its own
First directed by Geoffrey Rush in 1987, The Popular Mechanicals holds a special place in the Australian
comedic canon and is ripe for revival with a cast of our best theatrical clowns, led by the inimitable Amber McMahon and directed by former Sydney Theatre Company Resident Director Sarah Giles. A perfect romp that promises to lift the roof in the silliest ways imaginable.