Distinctive amateur drama
in Northampton since 1932
Registered Charity No. 294848
The Comedy of Errors
by William Shakespeare
Cast & Crew
Antipholus of Syracuse Michael Street
Antipholus of Epheseus Robin Armstrong
Dromio of Syracuse Barry Dougall
Dromio of Epheseus Mark Mortimer
Adriana Gemma Knight
Luciana Emily Bale
Solinus Mark Farey
Egeon Owen Warr
Angelo Barry L Hillman
Courtesan Claire Tong
Aemelia Jan Stoppani
First Merchant Rob Kendall
Second Merchant Duncan Morrison
Luce Suzanne Richards
Dr Pinch Tony Janney
Baltazar Rob Kendall
An Officer Jonathan Whalley
Second Courtesan Ingrid Heymann
Maid Ingrid Heymann
Wandering Minstral Matthew Churcher
Director Mark Mortimer
Assistant Director Clare Brittain
Stage Manager Bernadette Wood
Assistant Stage Manager Clare Brittain
Costumes The Works, Masque Theatre
Specific Costumes Pam Mann, Dorothy Grainger
Wardrobe Care Clare Brittain
Make-up Clare Brittain
Continuity Ian Spiby
Sound & Lighting Design Richard Walker, The Works
Set Design Mark Mortimer
Set Construction Mark Mortimer, Derek Banyard, Masque Theatre members
Poster design Rebecca Thorndale
Publicity & Photos Ian Clarke
Programme Martin Borley-Cox
Front of House Masque Theatre members
Programme Sellers Masque Youth Theatre members
Barry Dougall as Dromio of Syracuse, Mark Mortimer as Dromio of Epheseus and Robin Armstrong as Antipholus of Epheseus. Photo by Ian Clarke
Production No. 373
Mark Mortimer & Clare Brittain, directors
The Comedy Of Errors is an early play; the plot was probably influenced by the young Shakespeare reading some of the ancient Roman plays of Plautus in the library at Stratford Grammar School. People who have seen the musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum will notice several similarities as this is also based on Plautus.
Two sets of twins, whilst babies, are separated during a shipwreck. Egeon (Owen Warr) saves his son Antipholus of Syracuse (Mike Street) and his slave Dromio of Epeseus (Barry Dougall) but is separated from the twins’ mother Aemilia (Jan Stoppani) and his other son, also Antipholus (newcomer Robin Armstrong), and his slave, also called Dromio (Mark Mortimer) who is twin to the other slave.
When Egeon, Antipholus of Syracuse and Dromio of Syracuse arrive in Epheseus, it causes all manner of confusion as the other two twins live there.
The firm but fair Duke Solinus is played by Mark Farey (last seen in Masque’s production of Dying for It), Antipholus of Epheseus's 'drama queen of a wife' Adriana is Masque regular Gemma Knight (also in Dying For It) and her younger, more sensible sister Luciana is played by Emily Bale (from last summer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream).
Assorted characters in Epheseus will be brought to life by 'the usual suspects': Barry Hillman as Angelo, Rob Kendall as Baltazar, Tony Janney as Dr Pinch and Duncan Morrison as Second Merchant. Glamour will be provided by newcomer Clare Tong as the Courtesan. Suzanne Richards will be 'fattened up’ to play the rotund object of Dromio of Epheseus’s desire and Ingrid Heyman will be representing the ‘rest of the population’. Newcomer Johnathan Whalley will be playing the Officer.
Stage Management will be in the capable hands of Bernie Wood and Ian Spiby will be on the book. Costumes will be Jacobean-style (hopefully if we wear this sort of outfit we will be blessed with a Mediterranean climate) and will be put together by Clare Brittain; several new outfits will be made by Pam Mann and Dorothy Granger.
26 - 31 July 2010 at 7.30pm
In the open air in the Courtyard, Abington Park Museum, Northampton
Page last updated: 15/04/2012 Masque Theatre © 2012
by Martin Borley-Cox
Academics may disagree, but The Comedy of Errors is not great literature. Shock! Horror! Am I allowed to say such a things about a Shakespeare play?! What it IS is slapstick and a farce.
The plot (like so many of Shakespeare’s comedies) is ludicrous and the characters are pure pantomime. But that doesn’t matter a jot.
The Comedy of Errors is meant to entertain, pure and simple. And that’s what Mark Mortimer and Clare Brittain’s production did.
Any pretensions or reverence of the text were forgotten or ignored. Instead we had a madcap story of two sets of twins with the same names, and lots of misunderstandings.
Michael Street and Robin Armstrong were both Antipholus (of Syracuse and Epheseus respectively) and Barry Dougall and Mark Mortimer were both Dromio (of Syracuse and Epheseus).
It doesn’t really matter if the twins look alike or not because you only have to suggest the similarities with the costumes and the audience gets the joke. But Mike and Robin and especially Barry and Mark were alarmingly alike. The Dromios were suitably clownish; their masters were more serious and, well, masterly.
All the cast seemed to be having as much fun as the audience, which is always a good sign.
Once the early long speeches were out of the way, the story raced through with plenty of energy. I was never tempted to glance at my watch (own up, we’ve all endured productions when we’ve done that.) This is Shakespeare’s shortest play, which also helped.
The set was rough and ready and some of the costumes were suitably outrageous (yes, Suzanne Richards, that was you as Luce!).
It’s surprising that this was just the third time Masque has performed The Comedy of Errors in its 78-year life. The last occasion was in 1977 and before that it was 1940; I hope we don’t have to wait another 33 years.
It was a fun evening out, and the audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.