Photo credit: http://www.loftcinema.com/node/2634
Cut and pasted from the National Theatre Website:
The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s furiously paced comedy will be staged in a contemporary world into which walk three prohibited foreigners who see everything for the first time.
Two sets of twins separated at birth collide in the same city without meeting for one crazy day, as multiple mistaken identities lead to confusion on a grand scale. And for no one more so than Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio who, in search of their brothers, arrive in a land entirely foreign to their distant home. A buzzing metropolis, to the outsiders it appears a place of wonderment and terror, where baffling gifts and unexplained hostilities abound.
Consistently recognised by strangers, the visitors question their very selves as the turmoil escalates. Meanwhile, Aegeon, father to the Antipholus twins, has been captured searching for his sons and, as an illegal immigrant, is sentenced to death at sunset.
Lenny Henry plays Antipholus of Syracuse.
For more information, to view the trailer, to see the rehearsal and production galleries, and to book tickets follow the link:
The trailer gives a good taster for the production if you want to get a feel for what you will be going to see.
Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian
Photo credit: http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/mar/13/n-is-for-national-theatres
Just some of the slapstick comedy on offer.
Photo credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2070013/Lenny-Henry-The-Comedy-Of-Errors-triumphs-Shakespeares-toughest-roles.html
I saw this back in January. I will be honest. I was not at all excited about it, even though my friends who had seen it, and theatre buffs whom I trust, had all said it was excellent. The reason is ... I don't really like Shakespearean comedies with happy endings. I much prefer Shakespearean tragedies packed with heartbreak and despair, murder and death. The ones where all the key characters die at the end. I think that tells you more about me than about the plays!
However, I LOVED this adaptation. It was set in contemporary London and all the key parts - father and mother, the two twin sons and the two twin servants were all played by Black actors (the premise being Africans newly arrived in London), all of whom were excellent. The adaptation was strong on laughs and slapstick and the full range of humour, but it managed to be touching and moving when it needed to be eg the reconciliation scene at the end, where the family and the two sets of twins are reunited.
Spoiler Alert - Skip this paragraph if you want
The best bit for me (which totally surprised me and took my breath away with its audacity) was when - in the manner of the helicopter landing on stage during Miss Saigon - they had a real ambulance drive on and off the stage during the production, complete with flashing lights and siren. Gob-smacking!
I had gone along, convinced that I was not going to like this but I was proved wrong! I love it when that happens!
Due to the humour, the slapstick and the fact that it is well and truly played for laughs, this is also a good Shakespeare production to take young people along to if you want to give them a taste for Shakespeare, and show them that he is relevant to the here and now, and can speak to today's audience about today's world.
I just LOVE this production to pieces! Highly recommended.