The Comedy of Errors

Whiffler Theatre, Castle Gardens, Norwich

Whiffler Theatre, Castle Gardens, Norwich

To have two sets of separated identical twins in the same town and sharing only two names between them would seem to be asking for trouble, and so it proved on Saturday in this British Touring Shakespeare production of the Bard's rambunctious farce of mistaken identity.

Antipholus of Syracuse is searching for Antipholus of Ephesus (Andrew Hobbs playing both roles), both having servants named Dromio in tow (SP Howarth).

As the Byzantine entanglements that ensue threaten almost every character's sanity, only the audience is allowed anything resembling peace of mind until a final, breathless resolution.

Ephesus here being a strange place where people dress in odd, cobbled-together combinations of 20th century dress and have accents ranging from cockney to French via Russian, it is understandable that any visitor would be disoriented, family difficulties notwithstanding.

However, vigorous central performances ensured a good evening's entertainment.

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Combining a Bertie Wooster-like haplessness with a hint of Mr Bean, Hobbs is the production's lynchpin, his abundant comic abilities being skilfully deployed and complemented by Howarth's wide-eyed buffoonery.

While the sets were somewhat minimalist (at one point a door was brought onstage), a sizable audience left happy, having loudly applauded the surprised gentleman taken from their number to play one of the reunited brothers.