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The Comedy of Errors

It's been said that identical twins are telepathic, or have a little thing called ESP – aka Extra Sensory Perception – where they receive information from their twin that is not sourced through the five basic human senses.

By Tierney Seccull

In William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, two sets of twins find themselves in the same city, on the same day. This in itself isn’t so remarkable, but when you consider both sets of twins were shipwrecked and separated 33 years earlier, well, that’s quite the fluke, wouldn’t you say?

Felix Jozeps plays Antipholus of Ephesus – one half of one set of twins – and says the strong connection between twins is reflected in the play.

“There’s a speech at the beginning where one of the characters says, ‘I to the world am like a drop of water. That in the ocean seeks another drop.’ Imagine that – a drop of water in the ocean, that is seeking another drop in the ocean,” he says.

“He knows he has a twin brother, which is my character, and he’s been on a seven-year journey to try and find him. This is where the play starts.”

The Comedy of Errors is revered as one of Shakespeare’s most farcical comedies, complete with mistaken identity, slapstick fights and clever puns. This month, it’s delivered to Territory stages by Bell Shakespeare, Australia’s national theatre company specialising in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

At the heart of this tale of comedic misfortune is an old man searching for his lost children. He finds himself in a hostile land, in the fight of his life, to save his life. As far-fetched coincidences unfold, chaotic hilarity ensues and a man’s life could be saved. If only everything would go to plan.

According to Jozeps, performing Shakespeare is an exciting challenge that never gets old.

“I love that it challenges actors to, kind of, explore the big emotions that we feel, the big things in life," he says.

"His characters always seem to be either pushed to extremes or experiencing something bigger than the everyday, and I think that’s what I really enjoy about being inside his stories and exploring the characters that Shakespeare gives us … It pushes us to explore the limits of our emotions, of our thoughts, of our morals.”

Directed by longtime Bell Shakespeare collaborator Janine Watson, The Comedy of Errors is known as one of The Bard’s earliest works, which Jozeps says makes it more accessible.

“I think it’s a great play to watch if you’re new to Shakespeare. Because it’s one of his earliest works, the language is quite accessible,” he says.

“After the show sometimes we do a Q&A, and people have said ‘that was interesting, you put in all of that new language into it’, but we haven’t changed any lines … the language is a bit simpler, it’s really great as an introduction.”

Whether you’re a Shakespeare enthusiast or never seen one before, The Comedy of Errors is set to have you in fits of laughter, the audience in on the joke.

“The audience is in a position of power, which is probably the most fun thing, the audience are always a bit ahead of the characters … It’s a comedy, and it’s legitimately funny. It’s so much fun.”

Bell Shakespeare The Comedy of Errors

WHEN WED 19 OCT 10.30AM & 7.30PM
COST $30-$50

Alice Springs
COST $65-$75

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