If you like slapstick, farce, cases of mistaken identity and plays on words, you’re in for a real treat at The Players Theatre in July.
Thame Players are putting on a thoroughly modern production of Shakespeare’s farcical tale, The Comedy of Errors. One of Shakespeare’s earliest plays, first performed in 1594, it‘s been performed and adapted many times since for opera, stage, screen and musical theatre.
Thame Players’ production, directed by Martyn Ross, is set somewhere in the early to mid-twentieth century in a Greek town called Ephesus.
The story involves two sets of identical twins, separated many years earlier in a violent storm at sea. They are both called Antipholus – one from Syracuse and one from Ephesus. Their servants, both called Dromio, also come from Syracuse and Ephesus. Antipholus of Syracuse sets out with his servant to find his long-lost brother in Ephesus. Meanwhile their father, Aegeon, also sets out to find both sons in Ephesus. The only snag is that people from Syracuse are banned from Ephesus on pain of death. As a Syracusian, Aegeon is sentenced to death by the ruler, Duke Solinus. But the Duke is sympathetic to Aegeon’s plight and gives him until dusk to raise 1000 marks or the death sentence will be carried out.
Learning of the ban on Syracusians, the visiting Antipholus and Dromio take on local dress and explore the town. But they don’t know that their separated twin brothers have since become prominent residents in Ephesus. Many scenes of mistaken identity take place when the two sets of twins are confused with one another. Accusations and counter accusations abound until eventually both sets of twins meet and all ends happily in true farcical style.
The Comedy of Errors is being performed at The Players Theatre, Nelson Street, from Tuesday, July 10 until Saturday, July 14, with shows at 7.45pm. Tickets are £9, concessions £8, available from Spear Travels, Greyhound Walk, Thame, call 01844 217228 or online from www.thameplayers.co.uk