Thursday, 27 January 2011

Theatre Review - A Comedy of Errors

Two sets of twins both with the same names are separated during a shipwreck. 25 years on, their father Egeon, a merchant from Syracuse is arrested and sentenced to death for violating travel laws between Ephesus and Syracuse whilst looking for them. He tells the Ephesian Duke Solinus, of his search and is granted a 24hr reprieve to raise the thousand mark ransom necessary to save his life.
Meanwhile, also in Ephesus, one Antipholus and his slave Dromio are also searching for their twin counterparts. They are mistaken on many occasions for each other and in separating, encounter each other’s twin which in turn leads to further confusion. At times the plot gets so complicated with the different twists and turns that you feel the whole family could appear on an episode of Jerry Springer, but the humour that this provides is incomparable. Just like any good Shakespeare comedy, everything works out in the end, the mistaken identities are resolved, the twins are reunited with each other, their father and their mother and all live happily ever after.
This is Shakespeare comedy at its best; full of mistaken identities, wit, slapstick and energetic humour throughout.

There were two reasons that I had wanted to see this play. The first being that I am a great fan of Shakespeare’s work and this was a play that I had not yet seen. The second being, that I knew a member of the cast, Dominic Tighe from his former days with classical singing group Blake and I was keen not only  to see him but also eager to see the effect an all male cast would have on the production.
I was not disappointed in any way. The whole show was hilarious from start to finish and everything from the brilliant cast, the staging, costumes and of course the text contributed to the most side-splitting entertainment I had seen in a long time. The actors’ interactions with the audience also gave the play a more intimate and friendly feel which endeared you to the individual characters. It was high energy throughout, full of the wit and bawdy humour you would expect in an Elizabethan theatre but with a contemporary setting proving that Shakespeare is just as funny and popular today as he was so many years ago.
It was clearly a hit with the audience too as there were audible laughs, groans and noises of appreciation throughout. The Propeller theatre group really seem to have hit on the correct recipe for a successful show. The all-male cast does not detract your attention from the story at all and indeed they are performing it the way it would have been in Shakespeare’s day as female actors were not permitted in those days. I had not been familiar with their work before this but will definitely follow their productions in the future as I enjoyed this one so much.
I would thoroughly recommend this show, not just because of my association with it but because it is absolutely brilliant. It is impossible to sit through without laughing and proves beyond a doubt that laughter really is the best medicine.

If the show itself wasn't enough to delight, there was also the singing in the interval......

The Propeller theatre group are currently touring the UK (and parts of the USA) with A Comedy of Errors and Richard III - see below for listings and go and see them in your area. You will not be disappointed.

Tour Dates:

Tue 1 - Sat 5 February 2011
Theatre Royal, Newcastle
Box Office: 08448 11 21 21
Group Bookings: 08448 11 21 22

Tue 8 - Sat 12 February 2011
Coventry Belgrade
Box Office: 01332 555 666

Tue 15 - Sat 19 February 2011
Theatre Royal Norwich
Box Office: 01603 630000

Tue 22 - Sat 26 February 2011
King's Theatre Edinburgh
Box Office: 0131 529 6000
Group Bookings: 0131 529 6005

Tue 1 - Sat 5 March 2011
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Box Office: 01242 572 573

Tue 8 - Sat 12 March 2011
The Lowry, Salford
Box Office: 08432 086000

W/C 28 March 2011
University Musical Society, The Power Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Box Office: 001 734 764 2538

Wed 13 - Sat 30 April 2011
Watermill Theatre, Newbury
Box Office: 01635 46044

Tue 3 - Sat 7 May 2011
Theatre Royal, Plymouth
Box Office: 01752 267 222
Group Bookings 01752 260 960

W/C 9 May 2011
Madrid Festival de Primevera,
Teatro del Canal
Box Office: 0034 900 022 625
Tickets on sale soon

W/C 16 May - W/C 13 June 2011
Huntington Theatre Company, B.U. Theatre, Boston
Box Office: 001 617 266 0800
Tickets on sale soon

W/C 11 July 2011
Neuss Festival

W/C 18 July 2011
Galway Festival


  1. I'm not familiar with this play, but I'll have to read it, now! Thanks for the recommendation :)

  2. Very nice! Sounds much better than the play I went to yesterday :( Maybe I'll need to read this one as well.