The Comedy of Errors, one of Shakespeare’s oldest plays, has hit the BMO Mainstage at Bard on the Beach once again. The theme this year? Steampunk. And lots of it.
Bard is well known in Vancouver for its creative themes and reimaginings of Shakespeare’s classics. But whenever a director chooses a theme for a production, there’s always the fear that the story itself will be overshadowed. In Bard’s Comedy of Errors, this is absolutely not the case. The adventurous spirit of the steampunk genre, which imagines a future combining 19th century steam-powered machinery and advanced technology, and the madcap story fit surprisingly well together.
The set in and of itself is enough to impress. An intricately designed world comes to life with working clocks, bells, wheels, cogs and all, changing the set from a backdrop to a part of the story. And the costumes are no small feat either, expertly connecting the spirit of each character to the imaginative setting. Of course, the actors have a hand in that effect. The cast had their work cut out for them, but that didn’t stop them from giving the show all they had. The emphatic performance given by the actors more than lived up to the fast-paced nature of the original story as well as the setting. The two Dromios, played by Luisa Jojic and Dawn Petten, especially lit up the stage with their enthusiasm and energy. Even the most minor of characters were memorable and entertaining.
The play itself follows Antipholus of Syracuse as he and his servant, Dromio, search for their long-lost twins in Ephesus. Along the way, however, they and their local counterparts are dragged left and right in a spiral of confusion and mistaken identity. It’s a riotous tale of adventure, love and family, brought to life in a whole new way.
The Comedy of Errors is playing on the BMO Mainstage at Bard on the Beach from June 4th to September 26th. Tickets and more information can be found here.