Friday, 19 September 2014

Review - Comedy of Errors


MISTAKEN identity is a common theme in Shakespeare's plays but his Comedy Of Errors takes it to extremes by introducing not one but two sets of identical twins. Things are complicated further with the fact that each twin has the same name.
Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant Dromio were separated from their brothers, Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio soon after birth.
However when they are unknowingly reunited in Ephesus many years later all manner of hilarity and farce ensues.
It is one of Shakespeare's best plays and a new production by Blanche McIntyre now at the Globe really does it justice.
Despite a somewhat slow start, with the Antipholus brothers' father Egeon rather laboriously setting the scene, it zips along at almost breakneck speed with some amazingly choreographed physical comedy, timed to perfection.
It is exuberant, entertaining, hilariously funny and full of mayhem, chaos, farce and slapstick - parts of the set collapses, there are explosions and fights with various foodstuffs including a pink octopus.
And the acting is fantastic. Simon Harrison and Matthew Needham not only excel as the Antipholus brothers they also look incredibly similar, making it hard at times to identify them - as is the case with Jamie Wilkes and Brodie Ross who are fantastic as the put upon Dromio brothers.
Hattie Ladbury as Adriana, wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, also puts in a particularly good performance and Emma Jerrold as the Courtesan is a gem.
And with sumptuous costumes, lovely music and a great supporting cast this is definitely a production to savour.

Comedy Of Errors is on at the Globe, Bankside until October 12. Tickets from £5. Visit or call the box office on 020 7401 9919.

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