One of Shakespeare's earliest, most light-hearted and for many, most beloved, plays is coming to Arts Centre Melbourne next week thanks to Bell Shakespeare.
Melbourne’s favourite Shakespearian thespians Bell Shakespeare have a real treat for us next week, bringing The Comedy of Errors to Arts Centre Melbourne.
Expect all the rambunctious fun of the original – the old bard’s most slapstick-laden and punny play – brought smack bang into the 1970s thanks to the contemporary nous of director Janine Watson (Romeo & Juliet). The Comedy of Errors sees two long-lost twins unravel a series of dastardly truths as they reunite in a fast-paced plot adherent to Aristotle’s unity of time.
Check out Melbourne’s latest stage shows and theatrical events here.
Bell describe it their invigorated version as a ‘comedic and heartfelt romp of swapped identities, misguided love, mistaken imprisonment, and chaotic mishap’, a sentiment Watson explains emanates naturally from the source material.
“The Comedy of Errors actually sets up incredibly high stakes from the very first moment with Egeon condemned to death,” she notes.
“He’s searching for his two sets of twins and his wife, all torn apart in a terrible shipwreck three decades ago. The country he has come from and the country he lands in, in a last desperate attempt to find his family, are in deep conflict. He needs to raise a bond of $1000 for his life or perish. The scene is then set for a mad, desperate romp of mistaken identity, thwarted lovers and theatrical trickery. When the clock is set on Egeon’s life at the start of the play it sets a tone of urgency that propels the characters toward reunion as they race towards the resolution of the plot.
“Make no mistake – this production will be a fast paced and rollicking comedy, full of verbal wit and physical high jinx. But the characters are desperate for freedom, reunion, love – and that’s what we’ll keep at the heart of our show.”
View this post on Instagram
What’s more, Bell Shakespeare’s version explores gender fluidity within its characters – a near-common trait within contemporary reimaginings – with the Dromio twins played by Julia Billington and Ella Prince, while the Antipholus twins will be portrayed by Felix Jozeps and Skyler Ellis. Joining them onstage will be Joseph Althouse, Giema Contini, Alex King, Leilani Loau, Lauren Richardson and Maitland Schnaars.
Regional fans, never fear. Bell Shakespeare’s latest performance will also grace Horsham Town Hall, Warrnambool’s Lighthouse Theatre, and West Gippsland Arts Centre on its rollicking 20-date national journey.
Grab your tickets here.