Die Komödie der Irrungen [The Comedy of Errors]

Die Komödie der Irrungen
Director: Herbert Fritsch
Writer: William Shakespeare, translated by Sabrina Zwach
Cast: Sebastian Blomberg, Simon Jensen, Dorothee Hartinger, Stefanie Dvorak, Mavie Hörbiger, Petra Morzé, Klaus Pohl, Falk Rockstroh, Michael Masula, Marta Kizyma, Merlin Sandmeyer, Dirk Nocker, Hermann Scheidleder
Seen on: 26.2.2017

Merchants from Syracuse are currently forbidden from entering Ephesus. To Egeon’s (Klaus Pohl) he is discovered in the city. Moved by the sad story of how many years ago, Egeon’s twin sons were separated, together with the twin servant boys and how Egeon search for his lost son has brought him to Syracuse, Solinus (Michael Masula) grants him a day to find the money needed to buy himself free. Meanwhile Egeon’s son Antipholus (Sebastian Blomberg) and his servant Dromio (Simon Jensen) also arrive in Ephesus. Once there, their paths cross the Ephesus versions of Antipholus (Sebastian Blomberg) and Dromio (Simon Jensen) – only they don’t know it. Confusions ensues.

The Comedy of Errors is an absolutely nonsensical play – and Fritsch’s hyped-up brightly colored production of it sets the perfect tone to make it fly.

Shakespeare plays vary wildly and his comedies probably even more than his dramas. In any case, The Comedy of Errors is probably his stupidest play that is build basically on one joke: that there are two sets of twins that mistake each other for each other.

I don’t think you can approach this play in any way seriously, like you would any other play, working on character motivation, characterization and emotional truths. So I very much appreciated Fritsch’s approach which was to exaggerate everything, bundle it into screaming costumes, wrap it into highly stylized acting and just go for it. I already liked it with The Imaginary Invalid, but I may have liked it even more here (although – since that’s apparently Fritsch’s thing – I would be careful about which play I’d watch from him).

It must be exhausting to act in a production like this but you wouldn’t know it from this cast who power through it without losing a moment’s drive. And drive is certainly necessary to get through the entirety of the play without getting caught up on everything that doesn’t make sense.

I can see people being too bewildered by everything to enjoy it, though. It’s certainly not a play that will affect you much on an emotional level, but with that extravagant production at least it will stay in your head for a while. And it’s fun.

Summarizing: Entertaining.

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