The production, directed by Phillip Breen, was due to be part of the RSC’s 2020 season, but was postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 17-strong cast includes members of the original acting company, with a number of roles recast. The 2021 production of The Comedy of Errors is sponsored by Darwin Escapes.
The Comedy of Errors tells the story of a father who ends up in the wrong country on the wrong day as a government makes hasty proclamations about travel. A lonely son, while searching for his brother, loses himself. Across town a wife starts to realise her husband is not the man she thought he was (but rather likes it). Will anything ever be the same again?
Director Phillip Breen says:
“When we first conceived of this Comedy of Errors back in 2019, we had no idea that the production would welcome the RSC’s audience back from a global pandemic. But this play of family reunions - people finding each other once again, people holding each other at sunset - seems entirely apt for this moment, and we can’t wait to get back to work with this fabulous company of actors; with this old play on a new stage for this very new world.”
Jonathan Broadbent and Greg Haiste retain their roles as, respectively, Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus, whilst Hedydd Dylan (Adrianna), Guy Lewis (Antipholus of Syracuse) and Rowan Polonski (Antipholus of Ephesus) join the company. Avita Jay will play Luciana.
Jonathan Broadbent plays Dromio of Syracuse. His previous RSC credits include The Tempest, Queen Anne and Love for Love. Other theatre credits include Henry VI Parts I,II and III, Richard III, Henry IV Parts I and II and Henry V (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Crucible); and My Night with Reg (Donmar Warehouse/Apollo Theatre). Jonathan’s screen credits include The Crown, Silent Witness, EastEnders, and Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptations of The Magic Flute and As You Like It.
Hedydd Dylan plays Adrianna. Previous RSC credits include Oppenheimer, The Shoemaker’s Holiday and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other theatre credits include: Bartholomew Fair and The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe), Mother Courage (Headlong/Manchester Royal Exchange) and The Cherry Orchard (Sherman Theatre). TV credits include: Emmerdale, Bang, Hinterland and Pobol Y Cwm.
Greg Haiste will make his RSC debut as Dromio of Ephesus. His numerous theatre credits include Quiz (Chichester Festival Theatre/Noël Coward Theatre); Richard III and Nell Gwynn (Shakespeare’s Globe/Apollo Theatre); 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre); and The Lady in the Van, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Hamlet and The Accrington Pals (West Yorkshire Playhouse). His TV credits include Pennyworth, Timewasters, Heartbeat, Jane Hall and Emmerdale, whilst film credits include The Current War, The Time of Our Lives and Starfish.
Avita Jay plays Luciana. Her previous RSC credits include The Winter’s Tale. Other theatre credits includeLovely Bones (Birmingham Rep); Billionaire Boy (NST Theatre/UK Tour); The Secret Garden (York Theatre Royal);?and The Jungle Book (National Tour). TV work includes Emmerdale, Silent Witness and Coronation Street.
Guy Lewis makes his RSC debut playing Antipholus of Syracuse. Theatre credits include: The Butterfly Lion (Minerva, Chichester Festival Theatre); Goodnight Mr Tom (Duke of York’s); Twelfth Night (Regent’s Park); A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep), Pygmalion, Measure for Measure and Hamlet (Clwyd Theatr, Cymru); and Hamlet and The Canterbury Tales (Northern Broadsides/New Vic). TV credits include Torchwood and Casualty.
Rowan Polonski plays Antipholus of Ephesus. Other RSC credits include The Hypocrite (RSC/Hull Truck); The Omission of the Family Coleman, Shakespeare in Love (Theatre Royal Bath); Cockamamy (Hope Theatre, Islington); Desert Rats (Arts Theatre) and Another Country (Trafalgar Studios). TV works includes Doctor Who and Otherworld.
The cast also includes: Toyin Ayedun-Alase (Courtesan), Antony Bunsee (Egeon), Alfred Clay (Dr Pinch), William Grint (2nd Merchant), Zoe Lambert (Aemelia), Dyfrig Morris (2nd Merchant Bodyguard), Baker Mukasa (Angelo), Patrick Osborne (Balthasar), Nicholas Prasad (Duke Solinus), Riad Richie (1st Merchant/Young Egeon) and Sarah Seggari (Luce/Messenger).
Phillip Breen’s previous RSC directorial credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Provoked Wife and The Hypocrite. The production is designed by Max Jones with Lighting by Tina MacHugh, Music by Paddy Cunneen, Sound by Dyfan Jones, Movement by Charlotte Broom and Fights by Renny Krupinski.