A Midsummer Night's Disaster Script and licence for 1 performance

A Midsummer Night's Disaster

This is an escript, including a licence for one performance. A licence for additional performances is also available.

See below for the cast list.

St Calamity's School is staging a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Unfortunately, all does not go according to plan. There are costume failures, prop and set disasters, mis-timed entrances and exits, and missing and injured actors during the performance. Apart from a short prologue, all the lines are taken directly from Shakespeare's script, although all the lengthy speeches have been cut to enable younger children to access the play. The play was first performed with great success by Year 6 pupils from Portsmouth High School, Hampshire, England.


This is a fantastic way to introduce children to Shakespearean performance. The prologue below is the only material addedd to Shakeapeare's script, apart from clear stage directions. 


The Story…

 
Lysander loves Hermia and she loves him back. Helena loves Demetrius  but he loves Hermia. Worse still, Hermia’s father, Egeus, has decided that Hermia should marry Demetrius. When Hermia refuses, Egeus takes his complaint to the Duke, Theseus, for arbitration. The penalty, should Hermia refuse to marry Demetrius, is death or life in a nunnery. Lysander and Hermia flee to the woods where they are out of the jurisdiction of Athens. Unfortunately, Helena tells Demetrius of their plan and he follows them to the woods, followed himself by Helena. Meanwhile, there is discontent in the fairy world. Titania has stolen an Indian boy whom Oberon wishes to be his henchman. This tiff has affected nature and sown discord in the woods. The fairy-rascal, Puck, tries to repair the Athenian lovers’ rifts with a magic potion, which goes wrong. Oberon decides to teach Titania a lesson with the same love potion. In the midst of this mayhem, the workmen of Athens (the mechanicals) arrive in the woods to rehearse a play for Duke Theseus’s wedding to Hippolyta. This is a recipe for disaster…
 

Dramatis Personae

Theseus
Hippolyta
Egeus
Oberon
Titania
Puck
Fairy
Bottom
Quince
Snout
Snug
Starveling
Lysander
Hermia
Demetrius
Helena
Philostrate
Mrs Prenderghast (headmistress)
Stage Manager
Kyle (stage hand)

PROLOGUE

Stage manager enters to put up two paintings. The first painting falls off. Stage manager holds it in place. Second painting falls off. He gets two audience members to hold them in place with a promise to return with a hammer. He returns but the head falls off the hammer. Eventually the pictures are fixed with string.

Enter Miss Prenderghast, from her seat FOH.

MISS PRENDERGHAST: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Saint Calamity’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Disaster. It is very gratifying to see so many of you here tonight - when one considers the little mishaps of the last few years. As you know, our budget for drama is very small - as indeed are the little darlings who perform in the shows. Many of you will have seen the budget production of 1990, a particularly hard year, with the recession: One Dalmation. In fact, the dalmation was a labrador given a makeover in the art room by Miss Stubbington, assisted by 3P. By the interval it was sweating so much the poor creature was looking more like a Bengal tiger. And I’m sure some of you parents here tonight will have seen 1999’s memorable production: Charlie and the Chocolate Bar. Unfortunately, the chocolate bar did not perform well under the hot lights. After the first night the show was re-named: Charlie. And you know, play scripts are so expensive these days. However, we did not let financial considerations stand in the way when we decided to tackle Matilda - page 1. Casting our plays has sometimes been very difficult. Some of you may still remember The Big Friendly Dwarf. Last year was a particularly difficult one for drama. Our production date coincided with the One Direction concert at Guildhall. Sadly, we ended up with a very small cast - but the audience thoroughly enjoyed our production of Guy and Doll.

(Stage Manager enters and whispers in Miss Prenderghast’s ear.)

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, apparently there has been a mix up over tickets. This has only affected - 95 members of the audience. We sincerely hope those affected enjoy this play as much as they would have enjoyed A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Olivier Theatre. I do hope you enjoy the show and if any of you are still here at the end, there will be refreshments at the back of the hall - and a collection bucket. Thank you.

Blackout

STAGE MANAGER: (Over the tannoy)
Cast announcement - if Daisy Snodgrass, 6B, has arrived would she please report to her dressing room. Thank you.