Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 721. Friday, 5 November 1993.
Date: Thursday, 4 Nov 1993 22:46:20 -0500
Subject: Comedy of Errors
The Ryerson students in Toronto are staging a very sexy and stylish and
energetic production of Comedy of Errors, a ten-performance run ending
Saturday night. Eighty-seat theatre, all sold out well in advance, but
since they put aside a few spare tickets each night for "faculty and
agents" I had no problem getting in last night. They didn't even ask
for my agent's badge.
The Duke of Ephesus is cruelly resplendent in drag: a long red gown, long
red gloves and lots of makeup and jewellery. He's very tall and slender,
about six-eight, and has everyone cowering. Aegeon is straight out of
the Godfather, wearing a black pinstriped suit, black shirt, white
tie, and with a red carnation in his button hole. He sports a cane and
a Sicilian accent. The two Antipholi are in identical cowboy gear,
and it requires some concentration from the audience members to
tell them apart. No problem with the two Dromios, however. They're
dressed identically in medieval jester outfits, but one is a very tall
male and the other is a very short female. Both throw themselves
around the stage with tremendous vigour and elasticity. The Courtesan
is a very amusing New York twenties-style cigarette girl dressed in a
little French maid's outfit and her speeches (she has a lot to say) are
more Runyonesque than Shakespearean.
A very bright and colourful production, impressively choreographed (lots
of dancing and love-making) and modestly brief. Whenever the Duke
and Aegeon are on they perform a tango together as they deliver their
Overheard from the row behind me: "I'm no authority on Shakespeare,
but I think these plays should be put on the way they were intended."
"It takes a fool to see into the heart of comedy, a madman
to see into the heart of tragedy." --Northrop Frye.