Focusing on the idea of mistaken identity and the theme of family, the play has slapstick comedy but also the odd heartfelt moment, if done well. Here, the RSC have gathered a fine cast of athletic performers who not only embrace the language but also thrive during the comedic elements. At times the frantic scenes are so fast, the play has the effect of a relay race as each actor passes the baton breathlessly onto the next.
Star of TV hit Waterloo Road Jason Merrells plays the protagonist Antipholus of Syracuse. His vast stage experience puts him in good stead as he gives a commanding turn, exuding romance, charm and wit. His brother is played by his very own sibling Simon Merrells and their excellent chemistry provides the emotion that the play needs to succeed as a classic Shakespeare text.
The wonderful Siobhan Redmond plays Adriana, the wife who finds herself embarking on a relationship with the wrong brother. Her character is melodramatic and almost vampy, and Redmond almost steals the play as a result. Snapping at her heels are Chris New and Ian McKee, also excellent the brothers' servants, displaying a real knack for physicality.
By contrast, Rachael Spence is dreamily romantic as Luciana, Adriana's sister. But the entire cast is a joy to watch as they are all superbly synchronised, evoking laughter at every twist and turn. The excellent live band help to give the narrative added zip and Nancy Meckler's dynamic direction means that the cast has to run rings round each other. Katrina Lindsay's vast round set provides the perfect platform for this.
Errors really does feel like the best of the Bard, as it has elements of Twelth Night, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest. The RSC have produced such an affectionate production that is a play that will leave you thinking about it anon. The audience on the night I went, including Jason’s TV co stars Neil Morrissey and Denise Welch adored this exhilarating production and so will you.
- Glenn Meads