The Comedy of Errors

On Wednesday the 22nd of February a small group of us went to London to watch a performance of The Comedy of Errors at the National Theatre on the South Bank. Here is Billie’s review.

Theatre review of The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

Basically, this story is all about a separation, a disappearance, and also love (aren’t all Shakespeare plays set around love? I hear you ask)!! But this is no ordinary Shakespearian story, oh no! It is unlike Romeo & Juliet, where everyone dies and it’s all utter misery! Also it is unlike the story of a midsummer night’s dream, where everything is fantasy (and terribly unrealistic)! Compared to others, this play is peculiarly heartfelt.

Well, I suppose this love is one that a family would share. One that would never disappear, one that would stay in your heart forever (cheesy, I know, but how else would you describe it?).

Throughout, it has a slapstick Charlie Chaplin-ish laugh ability to the play. Lenny Henry is of course the star of the entire show! Taking to the stage and staying there… whether he’s beating his brother from another mother (purely in affection), running away from his wife (who is actually his sister in law) or speeding away on a scooter to avoid psychiatric prison officers (who wear some very clean, white overalls)!

The producer of the play presents a very modern twist to the play, BUT still sticks with the Elizabethan way of speaking… so, for example;

Modern English: How are you?

Elizabethan English: Thou are not accustomed to an introduction in your presence?

Slightly harder to “interpret” (as my English teacher would say) but it does give you a look into what it could’ve been like in the ‘olden days’ and, unfortunately, I have to admit for most of the play I had to guess what was happening through the actors hand gestures and body language.

The acting could’ve been a bit better and it also seemed that there was A LOT of improvisation, which made the play feel a bit stilted HOWEVER, the moral of the story is very heart warming and explains that in whatever nonsense that’s occurring there is always something good at the end of the (so-called) rainbow!

All in all, this play is not your traditional William Shakespeare play and I must say that I enjoyed it! It’s very nice to not to have to bring along tissues and extra mascara into the theatre.

Written on Friday, March 9th, 2012 at 10:32 am by Ian. Filed under Links for students.

One comment to “The Comedy of Errors”

  1. Jez said, at 2:10 pm on March 9th, 2012 :

    A good review Billie and easy to interpret.

    Let’s hope you get a review question in the exam.


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