There is no fool like an old fool as Oberon’s Cure works its magic spell

Oberon's Cure by the Rude Mechanical Theatre Company SUS-180627-141119001
Oberon's Cure by the Rude Mechanical Theatre Company SUS-180627-141119001

Celebrating 20 years of rural touring, The Rude Mechanical Theatre Co. is out on the road again this summer.

This year’s production is the play Oberon’s Cure which is currently being viewed by delighted audiences as the Rude Mechancial Theatre Co. puts on 52 performances durings its south of England tour which started in early June and ends in mid-August.

The gang has already visited Winchelsea, Eastbourne and Polegate among other places, but next Friday July 27 will be at Crowhurst Recreation Ground from 7.30pm, and then Markwick Gardens in St Leonards on Saturday August 4 at 7.30pm, Wadhurst Primary School on Wednesday August 8 at 7.30pm, The Green in Rushlake Green on Friday August 10 at 7.30pm, and Michelham Priory near Hailsham on Sunday August 12 at 7.15om.

The play Oberon’s Cure is based on Titania’s accusation in A Midsummer Night’s Dream that her husband Oberon has had an affair with ‘this bouncing Amazon’, Hippolyta, and is therefore an imagined prequel to Shakespeare’s play.

It is basically about an old man who is not capable of resisting a beautiful young woman. He is made to look ridiculous by his inadequacy - and the foolish lack of self-awareness makes him into a sad, pathetic individual.

But there is forgiveness, too, as Titania teaches him a lesson and appeals to him to grow old gracefully (with her and not be always chasing after girls). But do we want to grow old gracefully? It is an old story, and one which people will recognise and laugh at because of its familiarity. There are things to admire too; Hippolyta’s wiliness as she wraps Oberon round her little finger and Briony’s child-like, innocent, but tough, determination to work out the confusion of life and emerge as a young woman. Oberon’s Cure is a new version of The Fairy Queen, which was created by The Rudes in 2005, but updated and re-written with a brand new score and design.

The play is aimed at adults but not unsuitable for children from aged 7 and above. Tickets cost £16 + concessions online from the company website www.therudemechanicaltheatre.co.uk.

Picnics from 6pm.