The Comedy of Errors: An Identity Fair

A play set within a kind of civic event, a piece of theatre that is part of a fair, people putting on masks and transforming themselves: these ideas underlie this adaptation of Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors. The audience is invited to a hosted event, to a game – ‘An Identity Affair’, where they mask up as famous people. All through the event, which may include a banquet or similar, people are experiencing, "Who are you?", "I am not who you think I am," "I am who I look like I am,", "We are not who we think we are and not where we think we are." And then comes the grand finale, the performance of the play itself. The piece de la resistance of the identity jumble. The play arrives in the form of a group of strolling players - who happen to be their hosts. With theatre in a suitcase…


The Comedy of Errors: an Identity Fair at University Theatre and in the grounds of Newton Park Campus of Bath Spa University (May 2008); Sterts Theatre, Cornwall (June); The Minack Theatre, Cornwall (June); Royal Shakespeare Company Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon (June); Staunton Theatre Festival, Virginia USA (August); Canada - US Tour (September).  Performed by graduating BA Performing Arts students. Production Manager: Heather Johansen. Director: Emma Gersch. A Full Tilt Theatre Company production, Artistic Director GJ Kalic.


No errors in this vibrant show… impossible not to succumb to the total commitment of these young players - Cornish News

THE Full Tilt Theatre Company lives up to its name  and throws just about everything and everybody – and there are a lot of bodies – it has at its production of the Bard’s shortest and slightest play, The Comedy of Errors…

This is “Shakespeare by the Lake”, a “comic play-within-a-fair” which comes to us courtesy of adaptor Gunduz Kalic and director Emma Gersch, who go all out, “Full Tilt”,  for the comedy of the piece, only hinting at its darker undertones. 

A merry and mad mix of Plautine farce and Italian commedia dell arte, you can…sit back and wallow in the fun and games  played out in a holiday camp on the Greek island of Ephesisos – don’t mention Syracuse – where everyone, in varying degrees, is around the bend.

On its opening night even the weather went mad and co-operated, with the colour of the sea and sky matching  the bright blue tee-shirts of the camp staff…

A high-energy show, there is so much vim and vitality here, before and during the action, it ought to be bottled and sold to weary “campers”...

This is Shakespeare with a broad grin rather than a smile.

A production which fully justifies its claim of being “riotous, ridiculous and rip-roaring”, from its busy pre-curtain warm-up to its soul sisters and singers, from its mistaken identities and misunderstandings to its assault by Adriana, generously played by Samantha Broad, upon the wrong Antipholus, one of the show’s highlights, it is impossible not to succumb to the total commitment, confidence, and the considerable charm of these many, mainly young, players.

Very much an ensemble piece, it may be invidious to name anyone other than the already mentioned amorous Adriana, but this is a play, whatever the version, William Shakespeare's or Gunduz Kalic’s, the success of which hinges on the playing of the two sets of twins, in particular, that of the Dromio brothers and this scores by having two such talented look-alikes as Andrew Beckett and Paul Shears who as Dromio Ephesisos and Dromio Syracuse respectively, whether together or apart, have more “Oompah” than most and threaten to walk or run away with the honours - Frank Ruhrmund, Cornish News