Prologue and Scene 1
(Each actor to take at least one line and addresses the audience directly).
Good evening. Welcome to the show
Midsummer Night’s Dream, I’m sure you all know…
It’s a famous work by Will the Bard
But his language can be kind of hard
So this evening we will do our best
To simplify old William’s text.
As you can hear, we’ll speak in rhyme
And cut two hours off the running time.
So for those of you who have an aversion
To seeing Shakespeare in a modern version,
Best go now before we start
To pull this classic play apart.
But for those of you with short attention,
Our show’s a really great invention:
Only the highlights and none of the dross.
And me, I’m Puck, I’m a fairy, of course
Now you may not believe that I really exist
Or think fairies and ghouls are just shapes in the mist
But in actual fact, that’s not really the case:
I stand here as real as the nose on your face.
With the help of one of Shakespeare’s shows
We’ll show how you humans we keep on your toes.
Talking of which here’s the King and the Queen
But don’t worry about me, cos I cannot be seen!
Athens. The palace of THESEUS.
(Enter THESEUS, HIPPOLYTA, and Attendants)
Hippolyta, dear, well, here’s your new home.
It may not be so fancy but at least it’s not Rome.
In Athens we have far more manners and taste
So your beauty and charm will not go to waste.
Manners and taste? Have you muddled your brains?
You stole me from home, and you keep me in chains
Oh, don’t be like that my dear Amazon queen
It’s old-fashioned romance…
…it’s not, it’s obscene!
I have not got a choice but to marry you here
Then you may as well face it. Crack open a beer
(THESEUS passes HIPPOLYTA a beer)
Philostrate, Philostrate! Where the heck is he now?
(PUCK enters disguised as PHILOSTRATE)
I’m right here, your Highness
…There is no need to bow
Yes, it’s Puck here-you knew that-disguised as a man
I do this sometimes just to make good my plan
I’m worried my queen is getting cold feet.
And a little bit drunk. (to HIPPOLYTA) Here, love, take a seat.
(to PHILOSTRATE) This wedding you promise will win me her heart?
Don’t you worry ‘bout that Lord, I’ll just make a start
How long do I have to sit here like this?
Not long now, dear. Perhaps one little kiss?
Not likely, you heathen, not ‘til I am freed.
And even after we’re married, it’s not guaranteed
(Enter EGEUS and HERMIA)
Happy be Theseus…
…Oh, not you again?
It’s my eldest girl Hermia. She’s being a pain.
I told her to marry this upstanding lad:
Demetrius, step forward
…He’s an absolute cad!
Stop lying my child. He’s as sweet as a panda.
But I want to marry this man Lysander.
We had a few dates and we saw some good bands.
And now she won’t do what her father commands
Please tell her, my Lord. I am wasting my breath
She either gets married or we put her to death
I’m with you, dear Hermia. It seems that we women
Around here in Athens don’t get an opinion
(To EGEUS) Well, thanks a lot, Egeus, your timing is great.
I know it’s a problem, but couldn’t it wait?
(turns to HERMIA) Now listen Hermia, it’s Demetrius or bust
And I’ll even let you get married with us
Well I don’t want to die, but this man ain’t no fun
Either marry him, dear, or you’ll live as a nun!
Oh, thank you, my Lord. I’m sure she’ll agree
She’d better do, mate…Now let’s go have tea.
(Exit all but LYSANDER and HERMIA)
Well, the course of true love in our case is dead,
So I’d better be going, you heard what he said.
Is that it? Not so fast. Are you a man or a mouse?
Let’s run off to your Auntie’s house
That cute little shack on the edge of the wood?
And there we’ll get married. You got it?
Oh, Hi there, Helena. How are you?
Your hair looks great. Did you do something new?
I’m trying to look more serious
To win that man Demetrius,
But whatever I say and whatsoever I do
He has only got eyes for you,
Your eyes, your ears, your mouth, your nose . . .
My head and shoulders, knees and toes?
Don’t tease me so, it’s not a joke.
I’m obsessed with that Demetrius bloke.
I wish I had your gorgeous looks
To get in that man’s good books.
All other men, they say you’re hot
But Demetrius has lost the plot.
It doesn’t matter what I say.
He’s waiting for our wedding day!
But you love him (indicates LYSANDER). Did I get that right?
(nodding) Which is why we’re skipping town tonight
Well, actually we leave tomorrow,
But we’ll put an end to all your sorrow.
We’ll never come back…
…I swear it’s true
And then he’ll only have eyes for you.
(Exit HERMIA and LYSANDER)
Oh, Cupid, such a cruel sprite
To land me in this awful plight.
He loved me once: Demetrius.
But Hermia she did ruin us.
And even when he knows their plan
I’m sure he’ll never be my man.
He’ll follow them into the trees
To catch a peek, but if you please
I’ll follow him to enrich my pain
Just to see him go …(hopefully) and come back again
 Bad parts
 Short for because.
 Mixed up, scrambled
 Someone who is uncivilized
 Lost touch with reality