The theater is located about a ten minute walk into the Park and we arrived just in the nick of time for the performance, armed with chairs, blankets and fleece jackets. We set up our chairs and joined the ranks of what I'd estimate to be a crowd of 100 or so theatergoers. Despite my good intentions, I hadn't read anything about the play and we didn't have time to read the program, so I was a bit apprehensive as the show started. After all, it can sometimes be a bit hard to figure out what the heck is going on in Shakespeare. I realized I didn't need to worry too much when the opening scene was overseen by a would-be executioner wearing sunglasses and sporting a farmer's tan! The potential executionee was a gentleman who told a sad tale of two sets of twins separated at birth (Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus and Syracuse, respectively) and his search for one of his sons. The Duke took pity on the man and granted him a day long reprieve if he could come up with the cash to buy his freedom. This was the set-up for a day of confusion and hilarity as Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse visit the village and are confused with Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus (or was it the other way around???)
Despite the executioner's get up, the play was done straight up for the most part (or at least as straight up as a farce can be done!) The director did include some unexpected updates that added an extra level of fun to the performance. My particular favorite was when one of the Anitopholuses (Antipholi?) was trying to escape from a lunch with the wife of the other Antipholus and sneak away--back to the wall, rolling on the ground as necessary--humming the theme song to "Mission Impossible!"
|Antipholus of Ephesus (rear), Adriana, |
Nun and Driomo (of Ephesus?) (L-R)
While The Comedy of Errors wasn't my favorite theater experience of the summer, it was definitely a fun night out and well worth the $15 voluntary contribution. The great thing is that you don't have to choose between going to the Chester Playhouse or Two Planks and a Passion or Shakespeare by the Sea. They are all readily accessible and just waiting for theatergoers to enjoy their offerings. If I weren't heading back to Florida this week, I'd check out one of Shakespeare by the Sea's other productions this season--Measure for Measure and Robin Hood (I guess they branch out a bit beyond Shakespeare, which is probably smart marketing). The bottom line is that if you find yourself in Nova Scotia, get thee not to a nunnery, but to some of the excellent theater that is being put on in this magical province!