Mistaken identity, two sets of twins and lots of frivolity is what makes this unique bi-lingual production of Shakespeare's classic comedy The Comedy of Errors. This is not a play that is performed very often, but The Blind Cupid Shakespeare Company made it their own in this reduced version, performed and edited using the online platform Zoom.
Has everything you want and more in this production
The Comedy of Errors, despite the usual technical issues involving occasional screen freezing and occasional sound reductions (which on one or two moments impacted the performances), was done with a vibrant energy from an international cast that made the show unique from the perspective of using the traditional English text, as well as fusing it with an Italian translation. This seemed to not only show the four brothers having very different upbringings, but added an extra layer of lyricism to Shakespeare's text which was extremely pleasant to listen to and actually made the text funnier with the freedom it had on the use of iambic pentameter. The famous expression of Shakespeare being universal is fully embraced because of this.
Having mentioned the technical issues earlier, The Blind Shakespeare Company, in pure satirical spirit, embraced this side of things before they even jumped into the play. This made it instantly relatable as the company made the decision to do it on Zoom when they found out that no one could travel. A special mention has to go to Frances Knight as she had a real comedy error with a naked Homer Simpson filter and her horror as she realised what had happened was the highlight of that section whilst trying to remove it.
The performances from every single cast member were strong and made each character engaging and well rounded. One highlight included Joe Staton who played Duke Solinus, Dr Pinch and Balthazar. The differentiation between each role was not only well defined, but also showed his strong versatility as an actor. Other highlights included the feisty yet insecure Adriana (Gilda Mercardo) and her long suffering sister Luciana (Elize Layton). These two not only managed to portray the sisterly dynamic well, but delivered the characters with great energy and realism.
However, the biggest highlight has to go to Gianluigi Calvani and Alice Lussiana Parente who played both sets of Antipholuses and Dromios. This is a big task for any actor playing twins and not only did they show the subtle, yet very real differences between them well, but it was clear that these actors had a fantastic repartee between them and were not afraid to take creative risks to make these challenging characters work to their ability.
The Comedy of Errors has everything you want and more in this production and is not to be missed. It would be fun to see this happen on stage in front of a live audience also to see what would happen with no film editing involved too.