Directed by Conny Loder & John Yates, produced by Ken Lawler & Peter Heinz
Performance dates 7—10, 14—17 & 21—24 July 2022, 19:00
Join us this summer at the Theatron, Westpark. Admission is free, donations are welcome.
More information coming soon.
Due to the nature of outdoor theatre, we may have to cancel a performance. Please check here for a weather update by 16:00 on performance days:
I to the world am like a drop of water that in the ocean seeks another drop
— COMEDY OF ERRORS, ACT 1 SCENE 2
The first recorded performance of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors dates to 28 December 1594, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, in the hall of Gray’s Inn in Holborn. Whether the play was commissioned for this performance remains unknown.
Scholars are divided about the play’s exact date of composition. It is however generally agreed that Comedy of Errors is one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies, heavily influenced by classical drama, notably Plautus’s comedies The Menaechmi, which features a pair of identical twins, and The Amphrituo, in which Jupiter assumes the guise of Amphitrion in order to sleep with his wife. Shakespeare adopted Plautus’s dramatic device and mistaken identity in Comedy of Errors. Like Menaechmus, one of the twins, Antipholus, takes on his brother’s name in his memory. As an adult, the remaining twin goes off in search of his brother. The twin brothers, Dromio and Dromio, are Shakespeare’s own addition, while the characters AEgeon and AEmilia already can already be found in Gower’s Confessio Amantis (1390).
Another strong influence for Shakespeare’s play is of course the Bible. St Paul’s Acts of the Apostles may have inspired Shakespeare to emphasise an element of witchcraft in his fictional Ephesus, as according to Paul, the Ephesians were said to be notorious for their strange sorceries.
The Comedy of Errors only extant text dates to 1623 when Shakespeare’s plays were collected in the First Folio, published seven years after the playwright’s death.
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Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
— COMEDY OF ERRORS, ACT 2 SCENE 2
The Greek towns of Ephesus and Syracuse are at war with each other. One day, AEgeon, a merchant from Syracuse, is stranded in Ephesus, in search of his son Antipholus. Unfortunately, AEgeon is found out to be Syracusian and consequently detained by Duke Solinus. When AEgeon informs Duke Solinus that he lost both his wife and his sons, identical twins, twenty-three years ago in a shipwreck, Duke Solinus begins to pity AEgeon and promises that he will free him if AEgeon manages to raise a ransom of 1000 marks by 5 o’clock that same day.
At the same time, Antipholus arrives in Ephesus from Syracuse, together with his servant, Dromio. Both quickly disguise their identity to avoid being arrested, and yet, on their exploration of the town, everyone in Ephesus seems to know them by their names. A lady, called Adriana, takes Antipholus into her home, even calling him her husband; Angelo, a goldsmith, gifts Antipholus with a chain of pure gold; the Courtezan greets Antipholus as a regular costumer – and Dromio, well, all of a sudden he finds himself married to a local beauty! Antipholus and Dromio are confused and suspect that some witchcraft has possessed the Ephesians. The confusion increases when a second pair of Antipholus and Dromio
enters the scene—and quickly get arrested for alleged misconduct.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking for AEgeon – will he find a friend in Ephesus to ransom him? Perhaps someone in the audience can help?
(in alphabetical order)
Abhimanyu Madan (Servant, Officer)
Adriana Green (Luciana)
Alexandra Krienke (Adriana)
Claire Middleton (Pantomime Actor)
Daniel von Eichhorn (Antipholus of Ephesus)
David Hall (Dr Pinch, Pantomime Actor)
David Viita (Antipholus of Syracuse)
Helen Schulz (Understudy)
Jennifer Mikulla (AEmilia, Pantomime Actor)
John Yates (Duke Solinus)
Jim Nellis (Balthasar, Officer)
Megan Nerlich (Courtezan, Pantomime Actor)
Nick Lloyd (AEgeon)
Peter Heinz (Gaoler)
Shreyas Bettadapura Raghavendra (Dromio of Syracuse)
Sophie Cretaine (Luce, Pantomime Actor)
Susan Kelly (2nd Merchant, Officer, Pantomime Actor)
Susanne Moog (1st Merchant, Pantomime Actor)
Tommaso Ruzzon (Angelo)
Vaishak Raju (Dromio of Ephesus)
Stage Management: Christine Fuss, Namrata Gurung, Jolanta Lidzbarski
Costumes Design: Claire Middleton, Janet Giannone
Music Director: Helen Schulz
Front of House: Jeremy McCowatt
Dance Director: Sara Brandt
Photos: Tom Hafner
Marketing & Creative: Peter Heinz, Namrata Gurung, Susanne Moog, Blair Gaulton
Diction Coach: David Viita
Special thanks to Sarah Ryan.
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Photos by Tom Hafner