This year, Bard on the Beach has taken the radical step of steampunking a Shakespearian play – they are offering Comedy of Errors with a steampunk aesthetic on their Mainstage. In advance of the play, I was contacted for an interview to help inform patrons and viewing public alike on what, exactly, steampunk was. The result is this interview on Bard on the Beach’s blog in March.
Subsequently I was able to dress up and went to see the show myself in early June, on the last night of the previews. What I experienced was a visual powerhouse which takes what is possibly Shakespeare’s silliest and least believable comedy, and turned it into a deliciously ridiculous and strong spectacle.
The premise of mistaken identities among two long-separated and unlikely matched pairs of twins is ludicrous to start with. So what better than to simply ramp up the ludicrous with all the spectacle, insanity, and darkness available in the colourful cloak of steampunk.
Mara Gottler’s extravagant costumes and Pam Johnson’s set of looming dark machinery enhance the thin plot and turn this into a play well worth watching, under the direction of Scott Bellis.
I highly recommend folks take this opportunity to see the hilarious, slapstick, yet darkly-envisioned result of one of Bard’s more experimental takes on a Shakespearian play. As of right now, there is still decent availability in August and September.