Review: The Comedy of Errors, The Station Theatre, Hayling

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The Southsea Shakespeare actors, overseas on Hayling Island, revive the most contrived of Shakespeare’s comedies this week at The Station Theatre.

Director Vincent Adams has choreographed his cast to within an inch of their lives; he’s made a conscious decision to remove any sense of reality from the action. If you give in and go along for the ride on those terms – you’re in for a very entertaining evening.

There’s nice work from Patric Howe as the hapless merchant whose twin sons and wife have been lost in a shipwreck, Leigh Cunningham is an explosively frustrated Adriana and Matt Gibbins is wonderfully over-the-top as Pinch the conjuror but – as is right and proper – the show belongs to the Antipholuses and the Dromios – Ben Tanner and Aaron Holdaway representing Syracuse and David Pearson and Dan Hill representing Ephesus.

Holdaway blazes the trail in the comedy stakes, particularly his description of Dromio’s pursuit by the lusty and large kitchen-maid, and Pearson, of all the cast, has the true measure of the language.

There is, on occasion, too much effort being put into ‘being funny’ as opposed to ‘acting’ – but this remains the best SSA offering in some time.

Great fun. Until Saturday.