A farcical comedy brought to the stage

The shortest of Shakespeare’s plays, The Comedy of Errors, is the story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth.

The opening scene introduced a quirky community of characters, typified by Dr Pinch (Glyn Marsh), the conjuror, played in suitably eccentric fashion, who is snoring loudly as the play begins.

The roles of Antipholus were portrayed by John Turner, who played each with great confidence and assured delivery of Shakespeare’s rhythm and meter. The hapless servants, a pair of Dromios, were performed by Kevin Nutall, whose warm, relaxed style gave the downtrodden manservants an endearing edge. Katy Worobec, as Adriana, was in turn guilty, angry, bewildered and forgiving of the ensuing turns of events. Luciana (Janet McCarter) coped beautifully with the advances of her supposed brother-in-law. Solinus (Maureen Nelson) ruler of Ephesus, was an unnervingly convincing Margaret Thatcher look-alike and power base to the town, and Julia Dance was the memorably acted and perfectly attired Abbess.

The large cast, who were clearly having a lot of fun, made up the chorus. We warmed to them in their psychedelic costumes, individual comedy moments and complete belief in the surreal storyline. All credit to the director for an imaginative and cohesive interpretation of the play, giving it a setting and style that matched its inherent silliness and that was accessible to its audience.

Review by Maria Maslin