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THE COMEDY OF ERRORS Teachers Resources To accompany the

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THE COMEDY OF ERRORS Teachers Resources To accompany the ...

    THE COMEDY

    OF ERRORS

    Teachers’ Resources

    To accompany the production at

    Cambridge Arts Theatre

    thFebruary 8-12, 2005

    Box Office: 01223 503333

    Material compiled by

    Saraid Dodd & Rachel Briscoe

    www.themarlowe.org

    Contents of Pack:

    P3 Company Profiles

    P7 The Family Tree

    P8 Glossary

    P13 Production History

    P14 Rehearsal Diary

    P15 Life of Shakespeare

    P18 Workshop plan

    P22 Brook, Brecht & Stanislavsky P23 Shakespearean Insults!

Who is who in the company behind ‘The Comedy Of Errors’? Here we have a set of company

    profiles to let you know a little bit more about the actors, the director, the technical crew and the producer.

CAST:

    Cordelia Jenkins -

    My name is Cordelia Jenkins, I study English at Peterhouse. The thing I like most about Shakespeare is the way that you can read one of his plays over and over again and yet never really understand how exciting it is until you see it staged or try to stage it yourself. This is especially true of 'The Comedy of Errors' which, to read, can be quite confusing and not that much fun because a lot of the play relies on the visual

    representation of the action. I think that this production will try and solve all these problems and, hopefully, make everybody laugh a lot at the same time. My character, the Abbess, only comes on in the last scene of the play so I'll be involved in playing smaller roles before that. I'm

    particularly excited about playing her because I get to wear the best hat I've ever seen. When I grow up I want to be an actor or a truck driver or I want to work in a flower shop.

Oli Robinson -

    My name is Oli Robinson, hail from Durham in the North East. I study Natural Sciences, specialising in Neuroscience brains and stuff. The thing I like about Shakespeare are his stories and the way he has a knack of describing things uncannily like you think of them yourself but wouldn’t be able to put to words. I like ‘The Comedy Of Errors’ because Its actually very funny! It’s great to be working in the arts theatre, and playing a slightly demented exorcist! I’m Looking forward to it all coming together and seeing the set / working with new people. When I grow up I’d love to be an actor or presentor but will probably end up being a

    research scientist!

Thomas Ecclshare-

    hello. my name is thomas eccleshare and i'm doing English. The thing I love about Shakespeare is that he knows. He knows about happiness and about sadness and about laughter and about the bitterest jealousy; I've never read one of his plays without finding something out about myself. I'm really looking forward to the Comedy of Errors because it's a play that most members of the audiuence won't already know, unlike say, Hamlet or Macbeth. Though I think I'm most worried about it just not being very funny.

Hanna Thomas -

    My name is Hanna Thomas and I am a third year at Emmanuel College. I study Classics.

     I saw a production of ‘The Comedy Of Errors’ at the R.S.C a few years ago and honestly I was

    laughing so much that at one point I was finding it hard to breathe! It has so much potential just for giving the audience an enjoyable evening, and a really fun way to be introduced to Shakespeare.I am so excited about this, it will be my first show at the Arts Theatre and I think it will be very professional because we have an experienced

    director, designer and lighting director so I can't wait to see what it will look like in the end. I also love my character, the Courtesan- she's not a big part but I think she will be lots of fun to play- and has a lot of potential for prancing round in wenchy costumes. We start rehearsing a couple of weeks before term starts which I am really looking forward to because most

    cambridge productions are frantically rehearsed during term whenever people are free, so it will be good to feel all our energy and concentration will be going into the show. I am also really looking forward to going into a few schools and seeing what the students' reaction will be to us and

    hearing their feedback. I guess the only thing I am worried about is what my friends and family will think when they come to see it!

    When I grow up? hmmmm... recently I have been thinking about trying to get into children's television production. Other than that setting up a cafe in Hawaii has always been appealing but I'm not sure my parents would approve.

Liz Clayton

    Liz Clayton (Playing the Duke): I have always enjoyed watching Shakespeare in performance and to actually be in one of his plays is most rewarding just because the writing is so beautiful. It's very exciting to be involved in this production as it seems very professional and organised and it's not

just a case of walking on stage and that being it - there are lots of other

things going on as well. I think what I am most looking forward to is

    seeing how it turns out with all the various aspects of direction and

    design and so on combined. As to a future career, I haven't really decided

    yet.

Rich Kelly

    I am a Philosophy student at Clare College and have been involved in

    Shakespeare plays throughut school and university. The greatest buzz i get

    from performing Shakespeare is making people realise that it is much easier to understand and enjoy in performance than on the page. The language is

    often quite obscure, but from a performer who has worked out exactly what

    they mean the language and beauty of the plays can be made available to

    many more people. When this happens people are able to realise just how

    funny, moving, and brilliantly observed Shakespeare's plays can be. Comedy

    of Errors is an incredibly funny play so hopefully we can do it justice in

    this respect!

Holly Strickland

    My name is Holly Strickland, and I’m a third year at Pembroke college reading English. I like Shakespeare for his stories… As an audience member you feel really involved in these stories

    through his use of asides and soliloquy, which is often much more exciting to watch than a character being introspective on stage. ‘The Comedy of Errors’ is great because it’s really funny and fast paced. There’s lots of dramatic irony in the play, which is fun for the audience because they know something the characters don’t! I think this production should be exciting to watch, hopefully we will make full use of the play’s comic potential. I really like my character Luciana;

    although she’s not that worldly wise, she isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and her sister. I’m really enjoying being in the play because it’s a comedy, the last five plays I have acted in have been tragedies, so it’s great to make people laugh for a change. I don’t really plan on growing up, so I want to be an actor when I’m older.

Benjamin Deery,

    My name is Ben Deery, I am a 19 year-old layabout from Sussex. I study English. The thing I like about Shakespeare is the universality of his themes, the accessibility and high entertainment value of his plays, and the sophistication, richness and aptness of his

    language. I also admire his readiness to break through both formal and linguistic boundaries. The thing I like best about ‘The Comedy of Errors’ is

    the way in which it forces an audience to suspend its disbelief so that they can really go along for the ride, enjoying the hilarious tricks of fate and coincidence that befall our heroes. It's a great honour to be playing the part of Antipholous of Ephesus in such a prestigious production. I love the character - particularly the

    way in which we find suaveness and eloquence combined with a quick temper in him - and I it is a delight to be surrounded by so many talented people in all areas of the production.

    The beating sequences are both enjoyable and worrying! It's a lot of fun to put on a spectacle of that kind, but there are key safety considerations which make it a little nerve-wracking at first, and we are lucky to have benefited from working with such a great fight director. I am also greatly looking forward to the challenge of 'twinning' myself with Max Bennet, which gives me a wonderful excuse to observe and emulate the physicality and voice of a great performer!

    I have NO IDEA what I’d like to be when I grow up. I'd love to work in Theatre, but it's an extremely competitive industry. At the moment I'm training myself for little else. I'll just have to wait and see!

Lydia Wilson

    My name's Lydia and I study English. I used to complain that Shakespeare made everything too complicated because, for the most part, he writes in rhythm. But that rhythm actually echoes the human heart beat: de dum de dum de dum de dum de dum! which makes the emotions that he writes about a lot more understandable since rhythm seems to access a very emotional part via the human ear, it's like music which can stir the strongest emotions even when we can't understand why. One thing I really like about 'The Comedy of Errors' is that in some ways the story is over the top and unlikely but it is also very true to some major human concerns, like worrying that people could betray us. 'The Comedy of Errors' takes all these problems and puts them into one metaphor: the image of a drop of water lost in a vast ocean. It is impossible to take a drop of water out again once it has fallen into the ocean; so it's impossible to take a person away from the people and the world around them once they have been born - people are like drops of water and we all become mingled with each other and need each other in the ocean of the world! I also like that I get to kick Dromio up the arse. When I

grow up I want to carry on playing make believe which means I have to keep

    doing plays or run away to a desert island with my barbie doll.

CREW:

Samuel Wring -

    My name is Samuel Wring. I study Geography. I am the Stage Manager for this production. During rehearsals I make notes of what props the director expects the cast to have, and they are needed. Make a note of the scene changes, cues for actors etc. Generally get

    a good understanding of how the play is intended to run on the night. During performances I ensure that actors have the right props, that set changes take place when

    they're supposed to, manage the stage crew to make sure these two things

    happen. Generally be there in case of emergencies and make sure everything

    runs smoothly on the night. I work with Directors, Stage Crew, Design Team.

    This job is great because It allows you to get really intimate with the production, the script, and the cast. It’s an exciting play simply because it is so fun to read and perform.

    I’m especially excited about being able to run a production back stage in a large theatre, larger than any other i've done anything in. My only fear is that props may go missing at the last minute and actors won't have them when they need them! I’d like to be Theatre Producer when I’m a grown-up.

Lauren Cushman - Producer

    Studying English Literature at St. Catharine's

The producer is the first person working on the project, a long time before

    rehearsals begin: I interviewed directors in June 2004, which was where

everything started. As a producer, I work with and oversee all sections -

    publicity, education and production, and as a result i chair production

    meetings. I'm also kind of a secretary - I will book rehearsal rooms, and

    email the cast and crew about changes. I'm in charge of the budget, along

    with the Production Manager. We decide how much we can afford to spend in

    each area, and then pay people back at the end of the day.

I like being able to see a play from rehearsal to the stage. I'm quite

    interested in all aspects of a show, which is why producing is perfect for

    me because i get to see everything in progress. Comedy of Errors is a

    wonderful play and we have some very talented people working on it, so I

    feel really lucky to be able to produce it!

One downside which can occur for the producer for any show is that because

    you work so far in advance, you don't really know how things are going to

    turn out until it's too late! It's also easy to get discouraged when it's

    just you, or only a handful of people working on a play to begin with.

Laura Baggaley Director of The Comedy of Errors

    As a theatre director I have always loved Shakespeare. I first encountered The Comedy of Errors when I studied it for A-Level with an inspirational teacher who taught me that there can be pain in comedy and laughter in King Lear. Ever since then, I have wanted to direct the play and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do so now at the Arts Theatre. I like The Comedy of Errors for a number of reasons, first of all because it is such a funny play! The language is fantastic - plus there’s plenty of opportunity for physical comedy and slapstick, especially when the characters all start beating each other up! It is also a compact, perfectly structured piece of theatre with a very happy ending.

    My role in the production is multi-faceted, as I will be working closely with virtually everyone in the production team. I’ve been collaborating with the designer, Simon Kenny, for some time as he develops the set and costume designs ready for the start of rehearsals. Other preparation has involved working with Lauren, the producer, gathering together a production team (including lighting designer, stage managers, fight director, composer, education officers, costume supervisor, assistants and others), auditioning and casting the actors, planning a rehearsal

    schedule and contributing to publicity material. One of the things I particularly enjoy about directing is the many different challenges of getting a production up and running but the best,

    and most important, part of the job is, of course, rehearsing.

    I will be leading rehearsals, working closely with the company on staging the play. On a simple level this involves plotting the actors’ physical movement onstage and making sure everyone knows what their lines mean. Equally important will be exploring the characters, their relationships with each other and development through the piece. Above all, we want to TELL

     THE STORY of the play!

Family Tree:

     Egeon - married - Emilia

     Merchant of Syracuse Abbess at Ephesus

     Separated at sea

     |

    Antipholus of Ephesus + Antipholus of Syracuse __ | Twin brothers separated at sea

    |

    | | |

    | | |

    | Adopted as servants

    |

    | Dromio of Syracuse + Dromio of Ephesus |

    | Also twins separated at sea, then servants to the Antipholi respectively |

    | |

    -Married > Adriana sister to Luciana <-------------fancies

     |

     Luce

     her maid

Other characters

Solinus Duke of Ephesus

    Balthasar A Merchant

    Angelo A Goldsmith

    Doctor Pinch A schoolmaster

    First merchant

    Second merchant

    Glossary

Act 1 Sc.1:

    8 guilders Gold coins from the Netherlands

    11 intestine jars internal quarrels 22 quit pay

    54 mean of lower rank/ poorer 59 motions urgings/requests 64 instance sign

    72 plainings wailings

    86 straight straightaway 92 amain at full speed

    113 hap chance

    114 healthful health-restoring 122 dilate amplify

    139 travels journeys and labours 144 disannul cancel

    148 disparagement disgrace

Act 1 Sc.2:

    5 buy out redeem

    9 Centaur sign of a London Inn 18 mean opportunity

    21 humour disposition

    28 consort attend

    38 unseen, inquisitive unknown and eager for knowledge

    49 stomach appetite

    52 default offence

    65 scour punish

    75 Phoenix sign of Antipholus of Epheseus’ shop 79 sconce head

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