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A Comedy of Errors

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Anything produced by production company ‘This is My Theatre’ is special. Not only in the way they perform, but also the locations they choose.

Shakespeare at Thorington Theare is almost magical. Thorington Theatre is an eco-friendly wooden open air amphitheatre nestled in the woods. Utterly stunning. As we arrive the cast are singing jaunty medieval-style folk songs a cappella with beautiful voices and harmonies.

A Comedy of Errors’ is Shakespeare’s shortest play and the most farcical of his comedies with slapstick humour coming from mistaken identities with two sets of twins – and with only 4 performers, you can almost imagine how funny it’s going to be. The twins also have the same names, which adds to the level of potential slapstick and fun, PLUS the twins do not know they are twins! Can you just see it?

Both sets of twins were separated at birth, Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio of Syracuse arrive in the Greek city of Ephesus on a boat, they need supplies and plan to stay while everything is sorted. However, this is where Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant Dromio of Ephesus live and call home. When the Syracuse set of twins encounter the friends, family and local stallholders of the Ephesus set, there is all manner of confusion.

There are plenty mishaps as the Syracuse set are trying to get supplies while the Ephesus set are trying to get a necklace made for Antipholus’ wife. We have a near-seduction, an arrest, beatings, accusations of infidelity, theft and because they don’t know they are twins, they start to think they are either going mad, or others are either witches or fuelled by the devil.

With only four actors, and one performing the incidental music on violin, banjo and accordion, this only leaves three actors to perform a play with two sets of twins and at least four other characters. How do they do this? Simply and yet cleverly! All dressed the same, the actors execute this feet with coloured hats, a shawl and glasses. At no time were the audience confused as to whom the characters were at anytime in the play. If the actors had two, or more, of their characters on stage at the same time, they just moved positions and changed hats – which were being held in place but another actor. Or if more characters were on stage at the same time, another ‘almost spare’ actor played the part.

This added so much charm and fast paced dynamics to the overall performance, with a couple of outstanding monologues while two characters are deep in conversation, these actors put on a fantastic performance.  ‘This Is My Theatre’ never disappoint.

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Author

  • Hayley is a business co-owner working too many hours so it's a good job she's passionate about it. Hayley's down time is music, music and music of all types and she enjoys going to gigs, listening to new bands and breathing in the energy it creates.

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