The world of midway carnivals are competitive and cutthroat! If you’re a magician looking for your long-lost twin brother, don’t even THINK of setting foot on rival carnival grounds! It’s going to cost you, just like your father’s death sentence for the same offense.
This is the Southern Shakespeare Festival’s backdrop for The Comedy of Errors, coming to the Capital City Amphitheater at Cascades Park on April 15, 16 & 17, 2016. It is one of the Bard’s earlier plays and is full of exuberance, mistaken identities, and slapstick humor, sprinkled with some of the poetry of the human condition that Shakespeare is best known for. Comedy of Errors isn’t done as often as many of his other plays, but is a crowd-pleaser every time.
The premise starts with TWO sets of identical twins, Antipholus of Syracuse and his twin Antipholus of Ephesus. We find out early in the play that the other set of twins, the Dromio’s, were born at the same time and became indentured to the two Antipholi. But both sets of twins were separated when they were young, and haven’t seen each other since. So when Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse unwittingly visit the Ephesus carnival, no one suspects there are two sets of identical twins, not even themselves.
Antipholus of Ephesus is married to Adriana, but when Antipholus of Syracuse is mistakenly invited to dinner with her, he falls head-over-heels in love with Luciana, Adriana’s younger sister. Now there’s a reality TV show waiting to happen, if we, as the audience, didn’t know the truth. Antipholus of Ephesus is turned away and spends the evening in the company of a gypsy woman who is all too eager for his attention and gifts. Uh-oh! More domestic strife in the offing.
The complications build to a fever pitch, with a menagerie of colorful “sideshow” characters including a strongman, a snake-oil salesman, and maybe a bearded lady, sword swallower or fire breather. Looks like the Duke, head barker for the Ephesus carnival, will somehow have to make peace amongst the warring factions. But not without a few other surprises.
Rolling into town in April 15th!
For Festival schedule and information, click here.