From the farcical nature of the play, to its confusions with mistaken identity, the shortest of Shakespeare’s comedies is just perfect for an ensemble who are keen to explore the richness of his texts.
It surprises me that artistic director, Edward Hall, doesn’t want to deem his plays as ‘”accessible”... as this implies that they need “dumbing down”’. I see accessibility as a positive, bringing in the new, whilst keeping remnants of the old – preventing a work from becoming so overdone that it eventually becomes stale.
All of which Propellor achieve with overwhelming success. Whilst the cleverness and flawlessness of the language still remains, the company bring in audience interaction (interval included), contemporary set and costume design, and hilariously impressive physicality.
However, whenever I see a play bring on musical instruments to accentuate physical movement, I shrink in my seat. It might just be a pet hate, and in this instance there are moments when it admittedly works, but its overuse means that it eventually stops tickling, and starts to itch.
Both Antipholus’ (Dugald Bruce- Lockhart and Robert Hands) and Dromio’s (Richard Frame and Jon Trenchard) work exceedingly well in their comedy duos, whilst Hands provides the most laughs with his impressive cross-dressing skills, in the role of Adriana.
Doing exactly what their name suggests, Propeller are sure to blow you away with their infectious and entertaining approach to classic Shakespearian drama.
- Rebecca Cohen