The Comedy Of Errors
Review of a stage play written by William Shakespeare
Venue: Globe Theatre, London, UK
Blanche McIntyre’s production of Shakespeare’s shortest play performed at the Globe Theatre in London was a masterpiece of comedy.
The play is centred around Antipholus, his twin brother and their twin slaves. The slaves were bought by Egeon, their merchant father, to serve each son. After the father becomes separated from his wife, Aemilia, one son and his slave after a shipwreck, the survivors are renamed in memory of the missing persons. When Egeon goes in search for them, he is arrested for entering Ephesus from Syracuse which is punishable by death unless a 1,000 mark ransom is paid.
There follows a series of hilarious misunderstandings and mistaken identities when the adult Antipholus coincidently goes in search of his missing mother and brother at the same time as his father. The locals constantly confuse Antipholus and his slave with their twins whom have been living in Ephesus since surviving the shipwreck. As the mayhem unfolds, Egeon finds Aemilia who is the abbess at a priory where Antipholus from Ephesus had been detained for debt and declared insane. All is eventually resolved and Egeon is released.
The interaction of the cast with the audience was a delight. Likewise, the audience’s surprise when members of the cast suddenly enter the pit through the entrance and make their way through the audience towards the stage. The authenticity of the setting is intoxicating and creates a real sense of what it must have been like to watch plays at The Globe in Shakespeare’s time. One could almost sense the bard looking on.