Michael Lambourne appears in Mercury Theatre’s production of William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors in celebration of their 50th Anniversary.
Creative Director Ryan McBryde directs real life twins Danielle Bird and Nichole Bird as Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus, alongside Daniel Burke (Antipholus of Syracuse), Jessica Dives (Emilia/Nell), Rosalind Ford (Adriana/Balthazar), Lucy Keirl (Luciana/Nestor/Officer), Michael Lambourne (Egeon/Angelo/Dr Pinch), Mike Slader (Antipholus of Ephesus) and Aaliyah Zhane (Duke Solinus/Calypso).
The production opens on 18 May with a special gala event in celebration of the Mercury Theatre’s golden anniversary, with previews from 13 May, and runs until 28 May.
You’re appearing in The Comedy of Errors at Mercury Theatre, what can you tell us about this production of Shakespeare’s madcap comedy?
The Mercury’s version of what is Shakespeare’s funniest play, is a true celebration in every sense of the word. It’s filled with music, farce, and some of the best gags the bard ever wrote. Plus, the Theatres 50th anniversary falls within the run! It’s the perfect production for right here and right now.
Tell us about the characters you’re playing, do you have a favourite and why?
I’m fortunate enough to be playing three characters, each one having a very different role in the story. I play Egeon, Angelo and Dr Pinch. Egeon is a married father to lost twins and adopted father of two more. He has lost everything in his attempts to reunite his family and Ephesus, where the play is set, is the last place he could possibly look for them.
Angelo is a goldsmith who confuses the twins and then demands payment from the wrong one by wielding an umbrella in the most menacing fashion. Dr Pinch is a comedic gem, a whirling dervish of malevolent magic! Of the three Egeon is my favourite as his first speech that opens the play is perhaps the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to deliver on stage.
What’s it been like working with real life twins Danielle Bird and Nichole Bird?
Not nearly as confusing as you’d think. Each are especially talented performers, physically hilarious and able to deliver punchlines with aplomb. It’s been a delight to get to know them as individuals and marvel at how working with real twins enhances the comic potential of the text.
What are you looking forward to most about working at the Mercury?
I’m from East Anglia, I was born in this region so performing in a local theatre means a great deal to me. Theatres thrive on their connection with their community and the Mercury is a great example of this. It takes pride in the town it calls home.
What are you enjoying most about working with director, Ryan McBryde?
Ryan is open and generous in rehearsal which I’ve found very much to my liking. I enjoy exploring and trying new things, providing options and he’s been great in that respect. I think his vision for the play, setting it in the 1920 is superb.
The historical similarities to the world of 100 years ago in terms of society and upheaval are spot on. The production also wears its influences of Gatsby, the Jazz Age and films such as The Grand Budapest Hotel with pride.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see The Comedy of Errors?
What makes theatre exciting is that it is performed in the now. It’s live and this production is hot, fresh and just waiting to be enjoyed, so I’ll say come celebrate and gorge yourself on delicious comedy.