The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors

Queen's Wood Highgate
London
June/ July 2004

To expect or hope for another summer like the previous year's was unrealistic, although optimistically we set the production at a tropical beach location. The rain was at times tropical in strength and despite the battered set and props we delighted audiences with a slap-stick no holds barred take. The old Queen's Wood paddling pool was again a magical setting and provided ample space for all the action.

“Not your average Shakespeare interpretation”
Enfield Gazette - full review below.


Cast

Egeon/ Pinch
John O'Brien
Solinus/ Luce
Gary McDonagh
Antipholus of Syracuse
Paul Sayers
Dromio of Syracuse
Jo Butler
Antipholus of Ephesus
Simon Bolton
Dromio of Ephesus
Georgie Southern
Adriana
Liza Patoux
Luciana
Zoe Grainge
Angelo
Ian Nash
First Merchant/ Courtesan
Katharina Winckler
Balthasar/ Second Merchant
Mike Yoxhall
Officer
Linda Taylor
Abbess
Liz Felton
Producer/ Director
Paul Sayers
Assistant Director
Simon Bolton

Review

Rooftop production of summer classic pulls its own weight

Drag queens, sleazy seaside bars and golf — not your average Shakespeare interpretation. But coming from the theatre company who last year turned the Midsummer Night's Dream faeries into scruffy hoodlums, it is only to be expected.

This month the Rooftop Theatre Company are back in Queen's Wood, Highgate, with a lively and imaginative take on The Comedy of Errors. And they've pulled out the stops this time, with Hawaiian-shirted Antipholuses, holiday rep Dromios and a nun wearing an incredibly large cassock.

The potentially confusing plot, which features two sets of identical twins, is made more mind-boggling by the fact that both sets of actors actually look quite similar. This is good, because it makes the series of misunderstandings and twists more believable, but it does take a while to work out who's who.

Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse have come to Ephesus to search for their lost twin brother and sister, acquired a wife and the whole town seems to be behaving very strangely.

There is good use of music to accompany the entrance of Paul Sayers, who is immediately convincing as the suave laid-back Antipholus of Syracuse. His silver-tongued seduction of Luciana showcases the beauty of Shakespearean verse and explores the extent of its musical qualities.

Sayers also performs well opposite Dromio of Syracuse (Jo Butler) — their slapstick fight involving a rubber ring and giant fish generated a lot of laughs, and a scene where they take refuse under the cassock of a nun, with their feet poking out of the bottom, is inspired.

The woodland setting of the production is particularly well conceived — the stage is an empty Victorian paddling pool, the wings are the trees and bushes. And the cast used the set well, a tacky beach-side bar providing an adaptable centre-piece for the story.

There is no denying Rooftop do these bawdy comedies well, though this year's production doesn't quite match up to last year's sparkling A Midsummer Night's Dream. But next year it would be nice to see them tackle something other than the bum-slaps, nudges and sly winks of the previous two summers.”

Linda Geddes, The Enfield Gazette
15th July 2004

Current projects

Boxing Club Rules

After the very successful launch of Boxing Club Rules we're planning a tour to boxing clubs, schools and community venues in 2019–20. More details to follow.

Boxing Club Rules
Arts Council funded theatre

Behind the Scenes

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