ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Review of Trinity Shakespeare's A Comedy of Errors

Updated on June 21, 2014

Trinity Shakespeare 2014

This year, Trinity Shakespeare is offering A Comedy of Errors and The Tempest in repertory.
This year, Trinity Shakespeare is offering A Comedy of Errors and The Tempest in repertory. | Source

A Joyous Production

Shakespeare must have written A Comedy of Errors with a smile on his face. Just as his career as actor and playwright was opening before him, riding the success of his Henry VI plays, the bard sat down to pen this, his first comedy, borrowing plot elements from Italian comedies, throwing in what would become his signature word play. This is the spirit that Trinity Shakespeare captures, a sense of joy at the cleverness of the language, an exhilaration as each irony unfolds. And yet, North Texas's premier Shakespeare company also captures the darker thread that runs through the play. The melancholy streak that would later inform Shakespeare's great tragic works is here, even in his most raucous comedy.

The play opens with surprise as Aegeon (played by the inimitable David Coffee), father of two sets of identical twins, unfolds the sad tale of his life to the authorities of Ephesus. Trinity Shakespeare makes the startling but effective decision to treat this scene as a back room interrogation, where the Duke and his henchmen beat Aegeon before hearing his story. This dark opening casts a pall over an otherwise uproarious play, reminding the audience that death is always lurking. When Antipholus of Syracuse arrives in Ephesus, he is gloomy. Richard Haratine brings to the role the same brooding melancholy he brought to the role of Antonio in The Merchant of Venice and Brutus in last year's marvelous production of Julius Caesar. These early scenes throw the later comedy into sharp contrast but they are important because the show us glimpses of the tragic themes that would later become the focus of Shakespeare's work.

The rest of the play proceeds at breakneck speed as the identical brothers move through Ephesus, repeatedly mistaken for one another in such a rapid series of stage and costume switches, that the audience is left dazzled. It is a great credit to stage manager Bonnie Hanvey that this Comedy of Errors remained perfectly error-free. To keep up with the rapid-fire dialogue and crazy plot twists, scene changes are managed using simple revolving door frames that help transition us from the Duke's jail, to the house of Antipholus of Ephesus, to the abbey that figures in the play's conclusion. The rest of Ephesus is created through a series of miniature set pieces that cluster around a series of walkways up to a balcony behind the stage, creating a wonderful sense of depth and giving plenty of places for hilarious entrances and exits.

A Comedy of Errors


Your Chance to Weigh In

What is the best production you've seen at Trinity Shakespeare Fest?

See results

A Stellar Cast

In the lead roles are Richard Haratine and Jakie Cabe who play their hilarious double-roles with stunning precision. While most stage productions of A Comedy of Errors cast different actors in the roles of each Antipholus and Dromio, Trinity Shakespeare doubles down, letting the skill of Haratine and Kabe shine as they create distinct personalities for each twin, using posture, body language, facial expression, and accent to signify the character change. This highlights the similarities and differences between the brothers and heightens the hilarity as each is taken for the other. Backing up the leads is an exceptional supporting cast whose skill truly elevates this production as they carry the plot forward. Lyndia Mackay plays the role of Adriana, the long-suffering wife of Antipholus, with the kind of solid professionalism it requires. She and Amber Flores (Luciana) have to play most of their scenes straight, the voice of reason faced with the play's bizarre turns of events, and they do it excellently, letting the comedy sink in as they try to respond rationally to seemingly impossible happenings. The citizens of Ephesus drift in and out of each scene, creating a sense of a populous city and raising the comic stakes by providing a second "audience" for the leads' antics. Each part is acted so well that we truly get a sense of the individuality of each minor character. Liz Mikel as the Abbess, almost steals the show in the final act as she goes toe-to-toe with the Duke, angry merchants, an angry wife, and the whole town of Ephesus.

A Must-See Production

For its stellar cast, its glorious sense of fun, and its impressive stage direction, this production of a Comedy of Errors rates 5 stars out of 5. This reviewer advises you: don't walk, run to your phone and order tickets before they are sold out! This production is not to be missed.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)