"1920s Twins in the Park"
by Michael Gray for remotegoat on 22/06/13

Lively, unsubtle and short, Shakespeare's early farce is a good choice for the open air.

Kevin 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 ?]
A 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".

Andrew 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 "wife".

Their 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.
In fox fur, pearls and gorgeous flapper dress Natalie Sant makes an elegant, eloquent Adriana, with Lindsay Hollingsworth a nice contrast as her bookish sister.

Plenty 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.
The 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...

Add your review? Have your say, add your review

Other recent reviews by Michael Gray
Othello's Guilt, a monologu... Othello tormented by anguished guilt
The Alchemist fast and furious Jonson farce
Measure for measure Short Measure successful and succinct
Much Ado About Nothing war-thoughts and wooing on Bankside
A musical journey through H... varied scenery and spectacular views
HAMLET by William Shakespeare earnest exploration of Hamlet's troubles
Mirror Mirror: A Snow White... Cross Dressed Snow White Delight
Crick Crack Club Presents T... Tales told in a tent
Trial By Jury and The Zoo Delectable double bill of Sullivan
Travesties by Tom Stoppard Clever nonsense in vintage Stoppard
The Comedy of Errors by Wil... Shakespeare farce out of suitcases
Patience G&S in the Public Bar
Neighbourhood Watch by Alan... a lukewarm late dark Ayckbourn
Calendar Girls Yorkshire Ladies lose their inhibitions
Macbeth: In Pitch Black Scottish play for five voices
'Stepping Out' by Richard H... They tap their troubles away
Sonneteers come to the rose! Birthday verses at the Rose
Six Characters in Search of... Powerful pocket Pirandello on Bankside
DIDO QUEEN OF CARTHAGE by C... Early Marlowe in original Rose
Canary Gold Fraud, finance and fine wine