unsubtle and short, Shakespeare's early farce is a good choice for
the open air.
O'Connor's stylish production is set in the Roaring Twenties, with
appropriate snatches of song to bridge the scenes. [Was that Jay
Whidden's Louisiana as I took my seat in the Rockery ?]
casting luxury Shakespeare must have dreamt of – the Spong brothers
as the two Dromios. Their cleft-apple looks add hugely to the mirror
moment at the end, the hand-clasp exit, and the ingenious scene with
the two slaves either side of the "guilty doors".
and Richard had much of the physical comedy, too, well-timed and
never over-played, and Dromio of Syracuse [Richard, I think] gets
some of the best laughs from his riff about his kitchen-drudge
two twin masters, Tweedledum and Tweedledee in their boaters and
Oxford bags, are Mark Griffiths and Paul Sparrowham, hilarious in his
confusion, especially in the "old rope" sequence.
fox fur, pearls and gorgeous flapper dress Natalie Sant makes an
elegant, eloquent Adriana, with Lindsay Hollingsworth a nice contrast
as her bookish sister.
of enjoyment to be had from the smaller roles, too: Jim Rimel telling
"sad stories of his own mishap", Vernon Keeble-Watson the
very model of a major-general as the Duke, Chrissie O'Connor as the
devil's dam, John Lester as the wronged goldsmith, Bob Etherton as a
corny stage conjurer. And Louise O'Connor is the Abbess, who
engineers a happy ending as none other than Aegeon's long-lost wife,
mother of the twin Antipholi.
sylvan setting works well here; our imaginary forces can easily
convince us that the Centaur, the Phoenix and the Porpentine lie just
over the lake, beyond the trees …