Summertime is outdoor theatre time in Ottawa. And you really can’t argue when the theatre comes to you. Bear & Co toured parks around Ottawa this summer with Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, given the wild west treatment.
Should you see it?
As the old man at the beginning of the show will tell you. The Comedy of Errors is about two pairs of twins separated at birth. One pair, his children, the other, adopted to be raised as servants to his children. One night on a boat trip, mom and one-half of each set are dumped overboard. The twins also, for some unexplained and odd reason, have the same names: Antipholus and Dromio. You can imagine the hilarity were one duo to just on happenstance be passing through the town where the other duo was raised and lives. Which is exactly what happens.
And all manner of hilarity does ensue as Visiting Antipholus tries to figure out why a young woman, Adriana, claims to be his wife and begs him back to the old homestead for a night in and others in the town seem to be randomly giving him jewelry and money. Local Antipholus ends up with the opposite experience, finding himself locked out of his house and arrested for default of payment and the like.
It’s a good, fun show, that’s actually more straight forward than it sounds. And Bear and Company’s given it the Western treatment which seems to suit the setting quite well. To a T in fact.
Michelle LeBlanc plays both Antipholusses (Antipholi?), except in one scene at the end –the only one that has both Antipholi in it– where Anna Lewis takes on Visiting Antipholus. I did think that one of Michelle’s Antipholi was notably stronger than the other but she was good all round. David Benedict Brown and David Whitely played the two Dromios (two Davids as two Dromios, wha?) and brought a great bit of fun physical comedy to the roles. Recent OTS grad, Alexis Scott played Adriana, Local Antipholus’s confused turning into angry and concerned wife who eventually tracks down a priest and helps kidnap her husband to perform an exorcism. And Tim Oberholzer plays everybody else. Well it feels kind of like that anyway (but not in a bad way). Tim wears at least four hats in this one – or beards – playing everything from the Antipholi’s father, to the goldsmith.
Sadly, I’m not in time for you to see this as its run ended last week and I only got out late in the run myself, but this was just the lighthearted and fun show you want from a touring park show and I look forward to seeing what Bear and Co. brings out next summer.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d like to know what you think? Did the Western motif suit The Comedy of Errors? Where did you see the show and do you like the park theatre experience? Tell me in the comments below.
For full details on Bear & Co’s western presentation of The Comedy of Errors, check out our preview article, complete with photo and video.