The Comedy of Errors

William Shakespeare

The Comedy of Errors

Two sets of twins separated at birth collide in the same city without meeting for one crazy day, as multiple mistaken identities lead to confusion on a grand scale. And for no one more so than Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio who, in search of their brothers, arrive in a land entirely foreign to their distant home. A buzzing metropolis, to the outsiders it appears a place of wonderment and terror, where baffling gifts and unexplained hostilities abound. 3.5 out of 5 based on 11 reviews
The Comedy of Errors

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue National Theatre, Olivier
Director Dominic Cooke
Cast Ian Burfield, Silas Carson, Lenny Henry, Chris Jarman, Lucian Msamati, Joseph Mydell, Pamela Nomvete, Daniel Poyser, Amit Shah, Michelle Terry Claudie Blakley
From November 2011
Until April 2012
Box Office 020 7452 3000
 

Two sets of twins separated at birth collide in the same city without meeting for one crazy day, as multiple mistaken identities lead to confusion on a grand scale. And for no one more so than Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio who, in search of their brothers, arrive in a land entirely foreign to their distant home. A buzzing metropolis, to the outsiders it appears a place of wonderment and terror, where baffling gifts and unexplained hostilities abound.

Reviews

The Daily Mail

Quentin Letts

Mr Henry arrives and everything turns out just dandy. In his opening scene, he whacks his servant in the face with a metal tray — thwop! — and some urban cafe bystanders are splatted by custard pies. The intention is clear: the stress is on the ‘comedy’ of the title. So it proves for another sublime two hours.

01/12/2011

Read Full Review


The Evening Standard

Henry Hitchings

The comedy is played broadly. There's a distinct air of pantomime as the emotional mishaps mingle with ghastly puns and gags about flatulence. Yet Cooke finds more pathos than is usual, and the conclusion is genuinely touching.

30/11/2011

Read Full Review


The Financial Times

Ian Shuttleworth

As the National’s high-culture yet fun alternative to seasonal Christmas shows, this hits the spot.

30/11/2011

Read Full Review


The Guardian

Michael Billington

So all's well that ends well. And, even if I have seen funnier versions of the play, what this production captures vividly is that dreamlike sense of transformation that makes Shakespearean comedy unique. In The Comedy of Errors the characters exist in a world that is both realistically concrete and a house of illusion; and that duality is finally achieved in this Cooke's tour of a bewitched city.

30/11/2011

Read Full Review


The Stage

Mark Shenton

There’s plenty of panto in this ribald, somewhat risque staging, including fart jokes, custard pie farce and Romanian street buskers. There’s even a popular television comic Lenny Henry, which in the manner of panto billing ads could neatly place in brackets after his name, “Lenny’s Perfect Night In”.

30/11/2011

Read Full Review


The Daily Telegraph

Charles Spencer

It’s true that by Shakespeare’s later standards the comedy is sometimes crude, with lots of scenes of the Antipholus twins beating their incompetent servants, the identical Dromio brothers. But there is a hurtling vigour about both play and production, and the mistaken identity routines and farcical chaos often prove a comic delight.

30/11/2011

Read Full Review


The Independent

Paul Taylor

What's admirable ... is that there's no suspicion that the play has been twisted into a star vehicle for [Henry]; he's part of a fine ensemble that work hard to animate an over-cluttered concept and eventually drive the proceedings to a pleasing crescendo of comic mayhem.

30/11/2011

Read Full Review


The Times

Libby Purves

For the first hour, you get an unfortunate sense that all the black characters in an otherwise white city are both dim and violent. It gets much better, not least because the women are magnificently funny as Essex-blonde WAGs teetering on impossible heels.

30/11/2011

Read Full Review


The Observer

Susannah Clapp

Henry is often nimble and quick but sometimes he looks as if he's only half there – exactly what is required in a play that hinges on the rending apart of identical twins.

04/12/2011

Read Full Review


The Sunday Times

Christopher Hart

It’s a dud, a full four centuries past its sell-by date. Like any author, Shakespeare must have felt he’d done a pretty good job on some of his stuff, but others — well, at least they would pay the rent. No matter how much energy and inventiveness are poured into it, The Comedy of Errors is only rarely comic and often irredeemably tiresome. The harder you try, the more gruelling it becomes.

04/12/2011

Read Full Review


The Independent on Sunday

Kate Bassett

Cooke appears to have set out to plumb some gloomy depths in Shakespeare’s early romp ... Frankly, the best joke is the correction slip in the programme, pointing out that “Adriana should be listed as wife to Antipholus of Ephesus (not Syracuse). A comedy of errata. Crucially, the slapstick hasn't been finessed, with badly feigned drubbings and a chase with little sense of escalating madness.

04/12/2011

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore