Rain advice

Annoyingly with our English summers the weather can spoil our plans. Obviously everyone wants to know exactly what we are going to do well in advance. It is a very difficult one. If we cancel early (4.00pm) in order to give you as much notice as possible and the weather changes for the better (as happened at Lewes recently) then people are unhappy because it could have gone ahead. If we leave it late (7.00pm) to give us a better chance of performing & then we have to cancel, people are unhappy because they have done a journey in vain. So we can’t win. The compromise is to make a decision no later than about 5.00pm based on what the Met Office is telling us (and they may turn out to be wrong, but that can’t be helped). You can ring 07775-664704 after 4.00pm on the day of a show if you want an update. Not before, because we will be travelling. We cannot email you because we will be too busy fielding phone calls. Also, where you have given us phone numbers (& it’s always a good idea to do this) we will ring you as long as there aren’t too many to ring in the time available to us. 

The Commercial Traveller is on the road

The Commercial Traveller is now up and running and received a terrific response at it’s first performance on Sunday 4th June in New Ash Green, North Kent, with audience members giving a standing ovation at the end. If you want to see it there are fifty-one outdoor performances across the South of England from Kent to Devon throughout the summer until Sunday 13th August. Tickets are available by clicking on the ticket tab above and many villages have their own local box offices. The play contains ‘mild language’ and some bawdiness. There are tickets for children (although it is aimed at adults) and parents should ring 01323-501260 to discuss it’s suitability if they are concerned. Some children will be able to deal with it. You should bring your own low backed chairs. Smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is not permitted. Sites are open from 6.00pm for picnics. Have a great time!


Macbyrd script now on sale

Macbyrd, or a Mischief of Magpies, our Summer 2016 outdoor play, was one of the best received plays we have created and now you can buy it in a lovely limited edition paperback. Set in 1940 Sussex the story is about a power struggle among the birds and is an allegory for the real struggle below as England is threatened by invasion. Change comes from time to time. How do we deal with it? Do we straighten our backs and stick to our principles of decency and right behaviour, or do we become inward looking and threatened and blame every little wrong on a stranger? So it is an allegory for today as well.

Get your copy now by clicking on the Shop above. Costs £9.99 plus p&p.

Tickets on sale now for ‘The Commercial Traveller’!

Tickets are now on sale from this website for our summer outdoor tour of ‘The Commercial Traveller’. You can buy them by following the ‘Book tickets’ tab above, where you will find the full list of venues. Adults are £16, Seniors £15, Students £12, Children £9, and Families (any 2 adults + 2 children 17 & under) £40.

Large group deal – Also, note there is a special deal for groups of ten or more booking together with each person coming for a mere £13. If you are interested in bringing a party, email Pete on therudes@btinternet.com, or ring 01323-501260 and ask for the ‘Large group deal’.

Our new play –

The Commercial Traveller

Our new play for Summer 2017 is written and cast! It is called The Commercial Traveller and will tour between Sunday 4th June to Sunday 13th August to mainly villages and a few towns across the South of England from Kent to Devon. So what is it all about. Here’s a quick introduction!

The story

It is London, 1924, and rich and powerful tycoon and former East End barrow boy, Sir Arthur Cattermole, is not happy. His son, Gerald, whom he has spent his hard earned brass on to go to Eton, is in love with the girl next door, the beautiful Isabelle and daughter of hard up doctor, Cornelius Truss.

Love is a bunch of roses! Money is the thing!

So he sends Gerald to Africa to look after his cocoa business.  The young lovers, of course, are heartbroken. The days pass like falling leaves and after a year no letters have come from Gerald. Isabelle is convinced he doesn’t love her anymore, or has found someone else, so decides she will become a nun. But the widowed doctor’s housekeeper, Elsie, who has virtually mothered Isabelle, has a plan. She knows a kind, good, gentle man, a commercial traveller, who will marry Isabelle and once married Sir Arthur will have no reason to keep Gerald away. Of course, Isabelle will have none of it at first, but Elsie persuades her mistress to trust her – that this complex knot of impossibilities will be unravelled. She will eventually be happy.

Then shockingly Elsie disappears into the London fog and is apparently found dead. Her devoted husband, Albert, Sir Arthur’s butler, is devastated. A month passes and the commercial traveller, Cecil Cornford, does indeed turn up and marries Isabelle – and then, apparently too late to marry her himself, Gerald returns from Africa incognito. His letters had been intercepted and he does still love her. Albert sets about unpicking the knot and bit by bit it is unravelled.

Funny, romantic and moving the play demonstrates the gritty determination to overcome an apparently unassailable problem through absolute love.

New theatre inspired by the Commedia dell’Arte

The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company has been creating original theatre inspired by the traditions and style of the Commedia dell’Arte since 1999. We work outdoors in the summer months mainly  in villages and also a few towns across Southern England from Kent to Devon creating strong relationships with communities. We believe in the power of storytelling to bring communities together, giving a reason for people to be together and share in an experience which stimulates the mind, heals through laughter, and educates through thought-provoking subject-matter. Although our style is rooted in a genre which is hundreds of years old the stories always reflect what matters to people now. We also tour indoors occasionally in the winter and it is our aim to do more of this in the future.

See ‘Pete’s blog‘ for the latest information about the Rudes