Wellington Summer Shakespeare has been running for many years now. We’ve been going to see their productions for the last three of those, including All’s Well That Ends Well last year, and Love’s Labour's Lost the year before. The venue has also been a bit of a moveable feast as well – this year they’ve moved from the Civic Square location of last year to the Reading Car Park. I guess it’s all a matter of logistics and money? The Reading car park, a former multi-storey affair that was pulled down after the Kaikoura earthquake damaged it irreparably, is an unlikely venue for Shakespeare…but what the hell. We went.
I’d booked us a matinee performance on Sunday, so we headed into town in time to find a parking space and walk around to the venue. Nicola had been busy officiating at the Round The Bays half-marathon earlier in the day, but we had plenty of time. The seating was arranged in the corner of the carpark – thankfully shaded, as the temperature is back to summer again. We took our seats in the fourth row, and waited for the comedy to begin.
The Comedy Of Errors centres around two twin brothers, not quite separated at birth but certainly at a very young age, and their manservants – also twins. To confuse matters further, both sets of twins share the same names, Antipholus (the protagonists) and Dromio (the servants). When Antipholus of Syracuse arrives at Ephesus, he has no knowledge that his brother has lived there for a number of years…with hilarious consequences.
The cast are a mixture of experienced and new actors, some of whom we’ve seen in various productions at Circa and BATS through the years. At various points they ad-libbed – when a motorcycle went past, or a helicopter landed at the nearby heliport on the dockside – which helped things along. It was a comedy; it contained errors; but, as is usual in Shakespeare comedies, it all ended well.