Jump to content


Comedy Of Errors

RSC Roundhouse

  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Epicoene

Epicoene

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:56 PM

Lots of empty seats and plenty of shouting to overcome the appalling acoustics of this venue. The reunion of the Dromio brothers at the end of this under-appreciated play is really one of the most affecting moments in the entire canon, far more potent than Lear staggering on under the weight of Cordelia.

#2 Honoured Guest

Honoured Guest

    Dis Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2531 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:19 AM

I've booked to see this in Stratford in September. I don't usually go to Shakespeare, because of over-familiarity, but I hope that the visiting director Amir Nizar Zuabi will give fresh layers of interest to this production. I wonder if many of the regular London audience saw Dominic Cooke's NT C o E last winter and so prefer to rest this play for a while longer.

#3 Epicoene

Epicoene

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:05 AM

View PostHonoured Guest, on 13 June 2012 - 09:19 AM, said:

I've booked to see this in Stratford in September. I don't usually go to Shakespeare, because of over-familiarity, but I hope that the visiting director Amir Nizar Zuabi will give fresh layers of interest to this production. I wonder if many of the regular London audience saw Dominic Cooke's NT C o E last winter and so prefer to rest this play for a while longer.

Maybe, but in fact it is an infrequently performed play, the least performed comedy alongside Two Gentlemen of Verona, so any chance to see it should be taken. Be assured that the NT and RSC productions are sufficiently different to make both worthwhile, without spoiling it the RSC one is far darker in setting (as is supported by the text).

#4 xanderl

xanderl

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2086 posts

Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:57 AM

There was also the propeller version last summer
"witty ... both made me laugh but also gave me pause" - Mark Shenton, The Stage

#5 popcultureboy

popcultureboy

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 677 posts

Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:34 PM

I liked it. Weird mix of dark moments and Benny Hill style frantic running around. Some of the dialogue was a little too rapid fire to really land though. Seeing the press performances of Twelfth Night and The Tempest tomorrow as well. Looking forward to it.

#6 CMC

CMC

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 42 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:39 PM

View PostEpicoene, on 13 June 2012 - 10:05 AM, said:

in fact it is ... the least performed comedy alongside Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Well ...

since, say, 2006 there have been major productions at the Globe, the RSC (west end), the Open Air Theatre (2010), the National and by Propeller. The Globe also did a new touring version in 2009 and 2010. The RSC did a young persons version in 2010, and the big new production this year. It is often on on the fringe.

One of his most performed comedies?

The Two Gents and the Two Noble Kinsmen are the real rarities, no major productions by any of the above since 2006.

Looking forward to the RSC's new version.

#7 Honoured Guest

Honoured Guest

    Dis Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2531 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:52 PM

And major productions by Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory (Bristol, 2011) and the Royal Exchange (Manchester, 2010).

#8 igb

igb

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 715 posts

Posted 21 July 2012 - 07:32 PM

I really enjoyed this last night.  I only booked it a few weeks ago having enjoyed the companion-piece Tempest, and I'm very glad I did.

On the one hand, it's uproariously funny, in a way in which Shakespeare's comedies often aren't.  The language is well-spoken enough that you can catch the jokes, the physical comedy is very well done and the general pace and style exploits the humour.  On the other hand, it has a dark and nasty edge which gives some depth to the threats of execution the play opens with.   People I wasn't quite convinced by in The Tempest were very good, and Kirsty Bushell's Adriana and Emily Taaffe's Luciana leave me looking forward to their Viola and Olivia.  Jon Slinger gives an excellent cameo as Doctor Pinch, although that careless technique with jump-leads means he won't be getting a job with the AA any time soon.  It's quick, at a little over two hours, although there are a couple of points during which the director's a little too pleased with the staging and allows the pace to drop.  There's an excellent running rapping joke, into which I think I heard one of the Dromios slip a quick "motherfucker".

I was in row B, just upstage of the front stage right corner, which was my first trip to the "side" of a performance in the new main house.  I thought that it worked very well in terms of blocking, although there were a couple of points in which it was hard to see upstage owing to the lighting glare onto my glasses.  And my seat had a little table, too, which was nice.  It was, on the other hand, very cold: the young woman sat next to me left her coat on throughout, and I rather wished I hadn't left mine in the car.  Given the choice I'd prefer that to the horrible stuffiness some theatres are prone to, but I'd rather some sort of happy medium!

I don't think I've seen it before, and it's fairly obvious why it's not produced very often.   But it was a very enjoyable evening out, and well worth the price of admission.  That the RSC puts the same, or more, attention into minor Shakespeare as into the big set pieces is one of its strengths.

#9 David J

David J

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 343 posts

Posted 29 July 2012 - 10:12 PM


I have returned to Stratford-upon-Avon for my annual summer break . I will be catching up with the season's second theme, Shipwreck Trilogy, comprising The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest. I will also be seeing the two latest productions, Much Ado About Nothing (including a Directors Talk) and for the first time Troilus and Cressida.


Having seen the NT's production Live, what is good about this version is that it manages to mix together the dark and farcical elements of the play, something the former was not brave enough to go into depth about. Whilst sticking to this farcical comedy, the Duke's strict reign was never forgotten, such as the fact that the Brothers of Syracuse first appear from a crate as illegal immigrants


Whilst the slapstick moments were in top form they were not as creative as previous productions I have seen. As an example, this production lacked a big chase sequence, which was quite a dissapointment. It would have been interesting to see how such an event can be performed on the thrust stage.


However, what makes this a better production than the National Theatre's is that it was intimate and versatile. For example, when it came to using something as simple as a door for the twins to shout through at each other, the National Theatre's production was restricted by its grandiose set. In this production the cast only used one moveable door with aplomb.


Stephen Hagan, Jonathan McGuinness, Felix Hayes, and Bruce Mackinnon were great as the twin brothers. Hayes and Mackinnon in particular were very expressive and energetic as the comic servants. This is however the first time I noticed that the director did not put enough effort into establishing the allusion that the twins were identical. Whilst I would overlook the different pitches in the servants' voices, Adrianna would have noticed that her husband had suddenly aged and shortened in height.


Sandy Grierson was an impressive Solinus, and Nicholas Day was great as Egeon as he told the character's woeful tales. Emily Taaffe was a sweet and innocent Luciana, whilst Kirsty Bushell was an overpowering and furious Adrianna. Lastly, Jonathan Slinger performed Doctor Pinch with grotesque panache.


The stage compromised of wooden boards and a water tank from beneath, which reminds one of a shipwreck.  In keeping with this waterlogged theme, an industrial dock was used as the setting for this production. A crane for instance was used to lift certain pieces of the set


This production is a step up from the National Theatre's production. It is a very good start to the trilogy and should be seen at a High Matinee


High Matinee


A full review can be seen at http://shallicompare...rsc-review.html
My reviews can also be found at "A Night at the Theatre"

http://www.anightatthetheatre.co.uk/

#10 Epicoene

Epicoene

    Advanced Member

  • Full Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1239 posts

Posted 30 July 2012 - 06:35 AM

View PostDavid J, on 29 July 2012 - 10:12 PM, said:


This is however the first time I noticed that the director did not put enough effort into establishing the allusion that the twins were identical. Whilst I would overlook the different pitches in the servants' voices, Adrianna would have noticed that her husband had suddenly aged and shortened in height.

So what ? All that is required is that the audience suspends their disbelief and accept that they look the same. If you were worried about that then you will have even more of an issue with Twelfth Night. Cross-casting three plays is hard enough without having to satisfy the literal-minded audience members.


Spoiler for the Shipwrecked season follows:


Spoiler







Also tagged with RSC Roundhouse

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users