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David Porter » Reviews » Comedy of Errors

Comedy of Errors

RoughCast Theatre Company,

at The Cut, Halesworth

Review published in Eastern Daily Press, 27 June 2011

Purists might gulp, but RoughCast took liberties with Shakespeare’s fiendishly complex plot of absurdities, coincidences and unlikely encounters to make a hilarious night out.

They plunged headlong into the box of theatrical genres and tricks. Director Paul Baker cleverly shaped lots of character quirks and movements, at times somewhere between the physicality and slapstick of commedia dell’Arte and manic farce, with a nod to panto.

The story is the often imitated one of noble twin brothers separated years ago and twin servants who didn’t know about each other. Aiding confusion, the nobles are called Antipholus, while both servants rejoice in the name Dromio.

The lords (Steven Phipps and Mark Burridge) conveyed the increasing insanity convincingly. The zany naivety of their servants (Peter Long and Simon Evans) went down a treat. Alice Mottram as the young wife is a star in the making, and her sister (Emma Martin) handled well the ludicrous falling in love with the unmarried twin nobleman.

Sundry merchants, an Abbess, jailers, the Duke and an expensive courtesan gave admirable support in making the language alive and accessible. A really enjoyable addition was a small band who punctuated the action – a musical chorus. Wonderful!

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