The Comedy of Errors (22nd January 2011, Sheffield)

Some productions play Shakespeare in what some people might term as traditional and it can be fine, but what I really enjoy is when I come across a production that takes risks, because when they come off, they can be exciting and memorable. Propeller’s The Comedy of Errors was such a production.

Set in Mexico (or possibly Spain), the actors were able to convey the sense of the heat and the street life.  It was clearly a tourist destination waiting for the unsuspecting visitors from Syracuse.

What I liked the most about this production was the way the company were on stage throughout.  Wearing dark glasses and football shirts, they play interments throughout providing music and jokey sounds to comment on the action.  Just a shake of their heads was beguiling, and they reminded me a little of Robert Palmer’s backing band.  This device was used to great effect in that actors could move in and out of character and it also presented them with a device to make sure everyone was in the right place for the reveal at the end.

The play includes some of the typical tropes of comedy such as misappropriation of purse, and twins, but what Propeller’s production did brilliantly was play wonderfully on the stereotypes to great effect. We see the vain officer, the drag queen, and tanned dealer selling  what he can.

We are very clear that men are playing women, but I felt I believed in the characters. I really enjoyed this production and certainly want to see more.

Previews and Reviews

The Comedy of Errors/Richard III – review | Stage | The Guardian
Comedy of Errors – Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield / Arts / Theatre & Dance – The Comedy of Errors/Richard III, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, UK
The Comedy of Errors / Richard III, Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – Reviews, Theatre & Dance – The
Richard lll and The Comedy of Errors; Greenland | review | Culture | The Observer
Richard III/The Comedy of Errors, Sheffield Lyceum, review – Telegraph


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