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“THE COMEDY OF ERRORS”
A real labour of love I felt, this Shakespeare play concerns the stories of two sets of twins, one lowborn and one highborn, who are paired at birth, and are then parted, until they eventually come together in later life, causing many confusing and amusing situations.
I was pleased that Sue Sachon explained a little bit about the play beforehand, as it helped to keep the clarity of the piece, which can be very confusing with the quick switches between the two twins and their relevant servants, who then become intermingled.
The music was modern and chosen for it relevance to the action, which I thought worked well.
I liked the set –performing basically ‘in the round’ has become a feature of Shakespeare at TADS, and is very suitable. The set was minimal but interesting, with wall hangings of stone walls and steps leading into the distance, a good ploy for opening out the set. Props were well handled, and set changes were very regimented, meaning little time was wasted. The boat effect was good, which along with sound effects and lighting created a fine scene.
Lighting was very effective, creating different moods within the play. I particularly liked the different colour lights for the different countries in one scene.
The opening was intriguing with the use of masks.
I was particularly impressed with the two young ladies playing Dromio, one from Ephesus (Isabelle Lepore), and one from Syracuse (Jessica Lacey). Both created excellent characters, delivered their lines with panache and enthusiasm, and looked sufficiently alike to add to the general sense of controlled mayhem. A good casting call, the Director was lucky to find two such good young actors for these parts.
David Sachon played several parts, and managed to get a diversity of characterisations, I particularly liked Angelo, the jeweller. The final moments of the play between Egeon and his wife (parents of the highborn twins) was very touching, and beautifully supported by the music chosen.
Sophie Venn and Jenna Kay as the high born twins, Antipholus of Syracuse and Ephesus respectively, managed to create quite manly characters, using manly attitudes and poses, and showed the differences between the two twins whose lives were very different. Jenna created a more flamboyant persona, whereas Sophie kept her more masculine feel, but was a little confined by it.
Jack Glendenning played a number of parts, and did well with them all, again managing to get very different persona for each one. His purple outer garment from the Duke was very regal, and gave him a certain poise, which he did not need for his other characters. His Dr Pinch was a little eerie, but very energetic.
Emily Venn also played several parts, the most interesting of which was the Courtesan, having more lines allowed her to explore the character more.
Jane Murdoch as Adriana (wife of Antipholus of Ephesus) and Emma Dawson as her sister
Luciana were well matched. They created two contrasting characters, the diffidence
of Adriana and the self-
Sue Sachon and Molly Harper played various roles, and kept their portrayals simple and in contrast to the other characters. Sue was very compelling as the Abbess, and again I liked her last scene with her husband Egeon.
I can’t say it is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, as it is even more taxing on the brain than many of the others, but in the main I enjoyed the various portrayals and thought the settings were good.
TADS Theatre Group
“THE COMEDY OF ERRORS”
review date 18th May 2018
Director: Sue Sachon