The Comedy of Errors at York Theatre Royal

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is bringing The Comedy of Errors to York Theatre Royal. 

The play is all about two sets of twins… what could possibly be confusing about that? It’s a farcical, fun play that’s sure to be a great laugh.

It’s a First Encounters With Shakespeare production, meaning it’s an edited version of the play but still performed using Shakespeare’s original language. The play is aimed at 7-13 year olds so it’s a little more accessible for them, but it is still enjoyed by adults too. 

Alex Thorpe edited and directs this production, which features eight actor-musicians. I really enjoy watching actor-musicians perform because they bring something totally new to the stage, a multi-talented energy.

What’s particularly lovely about this production, being a First Encounters show, is that the community has been directly involved. A team of around 20 pupils from Fulford School and York High School will be performing an edited version of one of the play’s opening speeches – a great way to get students genuinely interested and engaged. They’ll even be helping to decorate parts of the set!

Alex Thorpe said: “This production is being built around its audience and the places we visit. Ephesus, the play’s market town setting, will feel uncannily familiar as local communities work together to complete the stage’s design. My relationship with the RSC’s Education Department has seen me collaborate with and learn from teachers, artists and school groups right across the country. Being brought up in the North West market town of Kendal, the opportunity to take Shakespeare’s farcical comedy to locations that feel like home is the perfect way to share one of Shakespeare’s earliest works.”

Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC Director of Education, said: “At the heart of our First Encounters with The Comedy of Errors tour are the regional theatres and schools we are privileged to work in collaboration with to create it. Many of us have our first encounter with Shakespeare at school, an experience which can define our attitude to live theatre and to Shakespeare for all of our lives. Together with our partner theatres we bring the excitement and wonder of Shakespeare’s work right into the heart of schools and local communities.”

Don’t miss the show when it comes to York Theatre Royal on 29 and 30 November. 

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