Wednesday, December 07, 2011

'The Comedy of Errors' review

Konstantin Behr & Robin Fitzpatrick
Shannen Keogan reviews the recent Shakespeare Society production of The Comedy of Errors:-

On a dark wet evening on Saturday 19th of November, in Saint Columba’s College, there really was no better place to be than sitting in the buzzing Big Schoolroom listening to the classic tunes of the 70’s and dancing in our seats whilst we all anticipated this year’s Senior Play, The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare.

If we didn’t think the blaring 70s beats were good enough, suddenly we were graced with the presence of the one and only keyboard extraordinaire Lingfan Gao, looking as some would say “Elton John-esque” in what really was the sparkliest jacket of gold and silver sequins that I have ever seen. When the lights dimmed and the sweet and sombre sound of Lingfan’s keyboard began to play the mellifluous tones of Catie McGonagle's voiceover introduced the story.
The story itself is a complex one and I thought that Patrick Tice who played Egeon did an excellent job of trying to explain the utterly chaotic plot in the first scene of the play. He informed the ruler of Ephesus (Kezia Wright) of how he and his wife had a pair of twin babies both called Antipholus who were separated on a sea journey in a storm. In the storm Egeon is separated from his wife and one of his sons. If that wasn’t confusing enough, on the exact same day another set of twins had been born to a local poor woman who Egeon bought to grow up as servants of his twins. These servant twins were both called Dromio. So the story begins with Antipholus of Syracuse (Zach Stephenson) and his loyal servant Dromio (William Maire) setting off to find their long-lost brother.

Now, a Shakespearean comedy really just wouldn’t be a comedy if it didn’t have a crazy over-dramatic and completely confused woman in it and this was Adriana who was played fantastically by Opeline Kellett. She, along with her sister Luciana (Bella Purcell) are baffled by the peculiar actions of her husband Antipholous (Robin Fitzpatrick) and their slave Dromio (Hamish Law). But the most confused characters of all were definitely the Antipholus twins (Robin and Zach) and the Dromio twins (Hamish and William). These four have to be commended on what really were flawless performances on their parts.

Not only was the acting of an incredibly high standard this year but so were the stage production and costumes. With the use of some new modern technology, a beautiful tower clock, very colourful garments (organised by Ms. Hennessey) and great music, the comedy sense of the play had without doubt been fulfilled in a most professional manner. And with some hilarious acting from the local police officer (Konstantin Behr) the local courtesan (Rachel Rogers) and many more, I never ceased to stop giggling throughout the performance. All of this of course was due to the 19 performers who put months of hard work and effort into preparing their roles under the direction and guidance of Mr. Girdham and Mr. Swift, who have yet again left us with another exceptional drama production, and for this they must all be congratulated.

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