The Musicians of Bremen (2008)

Two experiments in children’s theatre

  • Is The Rudes’ theatre for children? – The Rudes have twice in our history created plays for children, ‘The Musicians of Bremen’ (2008) & ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cat’ (2013). Both went down really well but made no money! It is a harsh reality that you have to find your niche to make a living out of theatre & creating children’s theatre needs your total attention, which as essentially a company creating plays for adults we have never really had the time to do. But we tried & hopefully made the children happy. In fact, although our plays generally are not aimed at children – that is, they aren’t ‘family shows’, nor watered down in any way – there are often things in them that children love & are probably a good introduction to adult theatre for children.

The Musicians of Bremen

  • A lovely little story – This lovely traditional story (ideal for a musical theatre company like ours) went out in 2008 & toured the South of England & army bases in Germany for the children of military staff based there. We tried to do it in a commedia way but the tradition & innocence don’t really go together. It was well received but not really in keeping with our objectives as a company – and financially it didn’t really work. But it was fun!
  • The story – Bruno, a very fine, but old, donkey can’t pull Mother Weber’s cart anymore, so Farmer Weber, her husband, is going to boil him in a big pot to make him into glue, because his favourite rocking chair keeps falling apart. Bruno, who happens to be a fine double bass player, is a bit miffed about this, of course, so decides to run away to the city of wonderful tall spires, Bremen, to become a jazz musician. On his way he comes across a hound up a tree. Alberta, because that’s her name, is hiding from a pack of marauding foxes who are chasing her. Bruno points out that it should be the other way around, but Alberta says that she isn’t a very good fox hound because she much prefers to play her saxophone all day. So Bruno suggests they go to Bremen together and form a duet.
  • A great idea! let’s form a band! – Then, of all the silly things, they come across a very pretty cat called Cornelia who is scared of mice! Luckily, and rather coincidentally, it has to be said, she’s a musician, too. She plays the flute as brightly as all the stars in the night sky! So she joins them. And then, just as they are about to set out into the forest, they hear a terrible hullabaloo. It’s Fritz a magnificent red rooster with an extremely loud voice. He’s crowing for his life because his mistress is going to make him into chicken pie. She’s fed up, you see, by being frightened to bits every morning. But the new found friends realise that with a voice that loud and with a bit of tuition Fritz could be an opera singer. So he too joins Bruno’s new band, The Musicians of Bremen – and what adventures they have, especially when they come across a posse of terrifying robbers – and an abandoned baby!

“A brilliant inventive afternoon!”

Andy Graham, Rhodes Arts Complex,
Bishop Stortford (Musicians of Bremen – 2008)

“A very engaging and visual production!”

Gillian Christie, the Tricycle Theatre,
London (Musicians of Bremen – 2008)

“A musical, educational & enjoyable experience. It put a smile on all the children’s faces”

Charlene Low, Stratford Circus, London (Musicians of Bremen – 2008)

See also ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Cat’ (2013) – Click here