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The Popular Mechanicals


Araluen Arts Centre presents
a State Theatre Company South Australia production
Original Direction by Geoffrey Rush

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 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.

"Monty Python eat your heart out; what a hoot this show is... I give it 5 rubber chooks out of 5." Stage Whispers

"Guaranteed to entertain...The multi-talented cast play instruments, sing, dance, use slapstick, manipulate puppets and act; they employ almost every comic device ever conceived in 90 minutes." Indaily

Director Sarah Giles
Designer Jonathon Oxlade
Lighting Designer Mark Pennington
Composer/Sound Designer/
Musical Director David Heinrich
Choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell


Photo: Shane Reid


16 September 2017




Araluen Arts Centre Members

Purchase a ticket to both The Popular Mechanicals and The Merchant of Venice for only $110.00




Extra information 

Ticketing Policy

Online ticketing is available up until one hour prior to the performance.  
For ticket purchases after this time, please visit the Araluen Box Office or call us on (08) 8951 1122.


For wheelchair assigned seating, please contact the Araluen Box Office on (08) 8951 1122.

Assisted Listening System available 



Booking Fee

For this event, a one-off service fee of $2.50 per transaction applies for all online purchases. All ticket prices include GST.

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