The Comedy of Errors
On October 5, 2014 I attended a performance at 2nd Stage Theater called “The Comedy of Errors.” This is a play written by William Shakespeare and directed by J. Daniel Herring, who has a 20 year career on stage. He has directed premieres including “The Great Gilly Hopkins” which played in New York and is currently directing “The Normal Heart” at Stageworks Fresno. This play is one of Shakespeare shortest plays and very comical. The story takes place in the 1500’s in a village square in an Italian town. At the start of the play a father named (Egeon) and the Duke of Ephesus are the first to appear. The Duke wants to put the Egeon to death for breaking the law but then Egeon wants the Duke to have mercy on him so he starts to tell the story of his twin sons, twin servants and his wife and how they got lost at sea. At the request of the Duke, Egeon describes the events that lead to the separation of the 2 sets of twins. His story of events sets the stage for what is to happen and lets the audience know what is going on during all the confusion that takes place. The Comedy of Errors is filled with mistakes and misadventures. It takes the audience through a comical journey of mistaken identity. The two lost brothers and their twin servants accidentally end up in the same town square creating confusion throughout the town. The play touches on broken families, a troubled marriage, slavery, grief and anger, some violence which is demonstrated in the spanking of the servant, and in the beheading that awaits at the end of the day. The confusion is finally resolved by the second appearance of the Egeon. After 20 years of not knowing where his sons are he ends up revealing the true identity of the masters and their servants while at the same time finding his long lost wife. Although the play touches on some serious issues the comedy rises above any issue. My favorite actors were the two male servants (played by females)...
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