The Knight of the Burning Pestle
By Francis Beaumont
Adapted by Vicki Siegel
Directed by Lelan Fernando, assisted by Michael R. Cohen.
Weekends in John Hinkel Park, August 20th-September 4th, 2017, including Labor Day.
Our second production of our Summer 2017 season is Beaumont's The Knight of the Burning Pestle, perhaps the first modern play, and the first whole parody in the English language.
The play centers on the interruption of the (apparently rather dull) drama "The London Gentleman" by the audience themselves. Led by The Citizen, they insist the players perform a different play, which they make up on the spot, starring the Citizen's apprentice Rafe as "The Knight of the Burning Pestle". The players themselves stumble on, alternately trying to get through "The London Gentleman" while periodically aceding to the audience's whims regarding the adventures of "The Knight". The production will be infused with music (as the author Beumont intended), and will be directed by newly minted U.C. Berkeley theatre graduate Lelan Fernando, fresh off directing a number of works at Cal during his senior year. He will be assisted by Michael R. Cohen, who directed our first John Hinkel Park show, Fortinbras, back in 2013, our first foray into works which deserve the sobriquet "Not Quite Shakespeare in the Park". Performances begin Saturday, August 19th at 4 p.m. at John Hinkel Park in Berkeley, and continue on weekends at 4 p.m. through September 3rd, with a special performance on Monday, September 4th at 4 p.m.
Actors Ensemble of Berkeley has been producing high-quality theatre with a community flavor since 1957