The Rude Mechanicals

From 8th - 18th April The Rude Mechanicals travelled across Hackney in their custom made pageant wagon, stopping at schools, parks and markets as they attempted to perform 1000 plays in 10 days. These 1000 plays were written by playwright Annie Jenkins when she was similarly faced with an impossible task….For the Shakespeare in Shoreditch Festival 2016 Annie was locked in a shed faced with writing 1000 plays in 10 days. She encouraged visitors, audience members, and the public to contribute to her mission, and by Day 10 she had written 700 plays! Over 300 plays that were donated included contributions all the way from Oscar-winners to 4 year olds.

The The Rude Mechanicals completed their 1000 plays challenge thanks to all the helpful and willing people at the following stops: 

Saturday 9th April

 Broadway Market 

Queen of Hoxton 

 Sunday 10th April

Chatsworth Road Market

Narrow Way Mare Street

 Monday 11th April

Old Street 

 Tuesday 12th April

St Mary's Church of England Primary

St. Matthais Primary

 Wednesday 13th April

William Patten Primary School

 Thursday 14th April

Hackney Community College

Hoxton Hall

 Friday 15th April

Grazebrook Primary

Shacklewell Primary

Hackney Downs Studios

Graeae Theatre Company

 Saturday 16th April

Hoxton Street Market 


 Sunday 17th April

Gillett Square

 Monday 18th April

Rivington Street

The Rude Mechanicals is only made possible thanks to the generous support of the Hackney Community Fund. The Rude Mechanicals is part of the Shakespeare in Shoreditch Festival 2016. 

Annies 1000 Plays

In 2014, for the Shakespeare in Shoreditch Festival, Annie Jenkins was locked in a shed for 10 days. During that time she was challenged to write 1000 original plays. She encouraged visitors, audience members and the public to contribute to her mission and by day 10 she had written over 700 plays that saw the birth of Granny Annie, Winita, The Jaundice Ghost, Monica and Chandler, Paul and a gaggle of real people. Over 300 plays were donated by members of the public from four year olds to Oscar winners.

In 2015 we ran a series of workshops with Jeremy Mortimer and Emma Herne, Guy Jones, Katie Lambert, Matilda Tristram and Whistlestop Theatre to bring Annie's 1000 Plays to life. Students, individuals and organisations responded to Annie's plays with new monologues, animations, plays and paintings. Annie's 1000 Plays: Volume One was published in April 2015 along with the new responses and you can watch the animated and filmed responses here

In 2016 we challenged a troupe of players, The Rude Mechanicals, perform all of Annie's 1000 Plays as they travel across Hackney in a custom-made pageant wagon. 

About Annie:

Annie Jenkins is a 24-year-old playwright from Tottenham, North London. Annie writes short candid snapshots of real London. Formally experimental her plays veer from autobiographical to surreal and back again.  She is the Writer-in-Residence for Shakespeare in Shoreditch. Her first full length play, In Lipstick, was part of the Playwrought Festival at The Arcola in 2016.

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Louis:              My boss keeps calling me Lewis or Lois. Lois is a girl’s name! He keeps being like, ‘but there’s an s on the end’, and I tell him that’s just how you spell it.

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Tinkerbell:     I’m going to be a shell of a fairy next week. This week I’m in the Hackney Gazette, next week I’ll just be in Hackney.

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Gemma:          I think about the future me as well as the present me you know.

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Linda:             I’m not keen on seafood.

Shirley:           You inhaled a prawn last week.

Linda:             Exactly, it’s put me off seafood. Which is a shame. I used to like it, now I’m scared of it.