THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
by William Shakespeare.
Propeller Theatre Tour to 21 June 2014.
Runs 2hr 15min One interval.
Review: Alan Geary 18 February at Theatre Royal Nottingham..
An un-missable production.
With this production, directed by Edward Hall, all-male company Propeller are at or near their best. It makes a hugely funny, wholly delightful evening.
Even by Shakespearean standards The Comedy of Errors is an outrage of a plot. A couple with twin boys, both named Antipholus, adopt two more twins to serve their boys as servants. Each of these is named Dromio. The couple, with one Antipholus and one Dromio each, get separated in a shipwreck. Years later master and servant from Syracuse, now young men and searching for their brothers, arrive in Ephesus, a racy and degenerate eighties tourist resort, where the latter just happen to live. Confusion reigns.
The comedy lines from the Dromioes (Will Featherstone and Matthew McPherson) are easily accessible, therefore funny, which isn’t always the case with Shakespeare’s low-life knock-about scenes. Hall is a little free with the text at times, which doesn’t jar, even when he has Dr Pinch (a super Darrell Brockis) played as a tacky American evangelist with cowboy boots and a tasteless chorus of angels; it’s hilarious.
The whole thing is sharp and beautifully choreographed – and it’s very pantomimic. Actors relate directly to individuals in the stalls; and in an evening of high slapstick, there’s that frying-pan sound every time someone gets hit. All the audio effects are jokey, and beautifully timed. Costumes are wacky – in the case of Aemilia the Abbess (Alasdair Craig) kinky.
The final piece of action is peculiarly touching. All the principals, husband and wife, the two Antipholuses, have been re-united and their affairs sorted out; but the Dromios have still to re-connect. When they do, it’s a complex and fascinating piece of interaction between the two actors.
This is an un-missable show.
The Duke: Dominic Gerrard.
Aegeon: Chris Myles.
Antipholus of Syracuse: Dan Wheeler.
Antipholus of Ephesus: Joseph Chance.
Dromio of Syracuse: Will Featherstone.
Dromio of Ephesus: Matthew McPherson.
Adriana: James Tucker.
Luciana: Arthur Wilson.
Balthasar: Lewis Hart.
Angelo: David Acton.
Nell (voice of): Alasdair Craig.
Officer: Richard Pepper.
Courtesan: Matthew Pearson.
Pinch: Darrell Brockis.
Aemilia: Alasdair Craig.
Director: Edward Hall.
Designer: Michael Pavelka.
Lighting: Ben Ormerod.
Sound: David Gregory.
28 Feb, 1 Mar Fri 7.30pm; Sat 2pm The Lowry (Lyric Theatre) Salford Quays 0843 208 6000 www.thelowry.com
4-8 Mar Tue, Fri 7.30pm; Mat Sat 2pm The Marlowe Theatre Canterbury 01227 787787 www.marlowetheatre.com
12-15 Mar Wed, Thu, Sat 7.30pm Mat Thu 2pm Rose Theatre Kingston-upon-Thames 08448 821556 www.rosetheatrekingston.org
18-22 Mar Tue, Fri 7.45pm; Mat Sat 2pm Everyman Theatre Cheltenham 01242 572573 www.everymantheatre.org.uk
25-29 Mar Tue, Fri 7.30pm Mat Sat 2pm Theatre Royal Norwich 01603 630000 www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
1-5 Apr Tue, Fri 7.30pm Mat Sat 2pm Theatre Royal Newcastle-upon-Tyne 08448 112121 www.theatreroyal.co.uk
18,19 Apr Fri 7.30pm Mat Sat 2pm King’s Theatre Edinburgh 0131 529 6000 www.edtheatres.com
7-10 May Wed, Thu, Sat 7.30pm Mat Thu 1pm Audio-described Sat Theatre Royal Plymouth 01752 267222 www.theatreroyal.com
10-14 June Tue, Fri 7.45pm Mat Sat 2.30pm Brighton Theatre Royal 08448 717650 www.atgtickets.com/theatre-royal-brighton
17-21 June Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford 01483 440000 www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk