Music Makers (radio): A Midsummer Nightmare

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started14th Jan 1985
ended25th Mar 1985
last rpt30th Mar 1987
3 school years
duration20 mins
subject 🎶MusicMusic
age rangeAge 10-12Age 9-11 & Age 11-13
languageenIn English
Music Makers (radio)HierarchyPrevious.gifPrevious unit: Gone with the Wiz! Next unit: The Lemmings HierarchyNext.gif

A Midsummer Nightmare is a unit of the BBC schools radio series Music Makers from the 1980s, covering music for primary and secondary school pupils.

A group of tradesmen plan to put on a play with local weaver Nick Bottom, who is convinced of his acting prowess, in the lead role.

They rehearse in an enchanted wood where the king of fairies is plotting to make the queen fall in love with the first creature she sees. Mischievous fairy Puck interferes by giving Bottom the head of a donkey, and things get complicated when the half-Bottom half-donkey is the first creature seen by the fairy queen.

The story is a comic adaptation with songs of a significant part of the plot to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, just without the four lovers storyline. It is subtitled or The Fairies in Bottom's Garden!


  • Supernatural Sprites
  • The Play's the Thing!
  • Well!... Really!
  • If Mischief Is What You Require
  • Bottom's Soliloquy
  • In Forest Glade
  • Pyramus and Thisbe


  • Spring 1985
  • Spring 1987
Preview of broadcasts in 1986-87


Introduced by Ian Humphris
Helen Speirs
Written by Edward Kelsey
With apologies to William Shakespeare
Music by Peter Hutchings
Producer Peter Hutchings


Pupils' pamphlet

Pupils' pamphlet

A 48-page pamphlet printed in blue, with illustrations by Paul Cemmick telling the story, and words and songs of all the stories.

Teachers' notes

Teachers' notes

A 16-page booklet containing piano accompaniments to all o fthe songs, and notes on the content of each broadcast.

Acting script

Acting script cover

A 20-page version of the story adapted for performance by schools, only available on application to the producer during the term of broadcast.

Melodic instrument parts

Melodic instrument parts cover

A 5-page set of musical notations giving accompaniments for tuned percussion instruments to each of the songs, also only available on application to the producer during the term of broadcast.


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