The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0095  Monday, 17 January 2000.

From:           Norman J. Myers <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 14 Jan 2000 11:50:10 -0500
Subject: 11.0078 Re: Rat Plots (Err.)
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0078 Re: Rat Plots (Err.)

I second David Lindley's comment on Comedy of Errors (see below).  Some
years ago, I directed a modest production of this show at Bowling Green
State University, in a little room seating less than 50.  It was hardly
"great reckonings in little rooms" and, obviously, couldn't compare with
anything by RSC.  But cast and audience alike found that Shakespeare's
"conversion and adaptation of a classical plot" indeed "managed to touch
deeper resonances".  After all, this ability to touch deeper resonances
in everything he turned his hand to is what makes Shakespeare
SHAKESPEARE, isn't it?

Norman Myers

>It seems to be accepted as an axiom in postings on 'rat plots' that
>Comedy of Errors 'is not a serious play'.  Those of us lucky enough to
>see Tim Supple's wonderful touring production of the play for the RSC a
>few years ago would, I think, want to question this easy assertion.  It
>revealed the ways in which Shakespeare's conversion and adaptation of a
>classical plot managed to touch deeper resonances, looking forward to
>the so-called romances. The 'frame' of Egeon's threatened execution was
>taken seriously, and the 'recognition' scene at the end was moving and
>powerful in precisely the same ceremonious way that analogous scenes in
>TN or WT work.
>I saw this production in the company of academics attending the
>Stratford International Conference - and rarely has any audience in my
>experience reacted with such uniform enthusiasm.  Several acclaimed it
>as that rare thing, a performance which profoundly changed their
>estimation and understanding of a play.
>So don't write it off so condescendingly!
>David Lindley

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