REVIEW: The Comedy of Errors (Scoot Theatre)

Scoot Theatre are out touring cricket grounds (plus a few other places) again this summer with two condensed, family-friendly Shakespeare shows. Alongside the return of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (which we saw and loved at BarnFest 2020) comes The Comedy of Errors, which we headed along to see at Esher Cricket Club three weeks ago. Why is our review so tardy, you ask? Well, due to the great British weather we ended up watching it in Wimbledon this Friday!

Our first attempt at seeing the show was very much a real life comedy of errors. Not only did traffic (and a very unhelpful Google Maps diversion through the back of beyond) mean we very nearly missed it altogether, but scenes reminiscent of the tempest at the start of the play resulted in multiple wet weather show stops, the fourth of which was fatal (although the weather improved in time for them to get A Midsummer Night’s Dream up and running later that day).

This actually made for a rather entertaining afternoon (especially when the pavilion cover retracted unexpectedly, dumping water on the audience!) but we did really want to see how things ended so we managed to squeeze in a trip to see their only London date. This time we took the train to avoid traffic trouble and got there nice and early, giving us plenty of time to take in the lovely surroundings of Wimbledon Cricket Club before settling into our deckchairs for some Shakespeare in the sun.

Scoot’s actor-musician adaptation of The Comedy of Errors is a fast paced romp through one of Shakespeare’s daftest comedies, with a cricket theme to match the surroundings. You may be forgiven for thinking that the bard and the Barmy Army are not natural bedfellows but it works really well. Traumatic memories of English literature lessons may also have you thinking that Shakespeare is not your thing but we can safely say that Scoot will surprise you. Mrs Mummy has been completely converted by their accessible adaptations which are unpretentious, silly fun. You may not follow all the language (does anyone ever?) but the plot is completely clear (no mean feat in a play which is about mistaken identity and general confusion!) and the cast are all absolutely hilarious. We especially enjoyed Scarlet Wilderink and Tricia Adele-Turner as the two Dromios, and Miles Henderson in both his role as Antipholus of Syracuse and as Officer.

Regular readers will know that we are big fans of musical theatre so unsurprisingly we approve of the prominence of music in Scoot’s productions. We love the use of musical instruments to create the sound effects, as well as the singsong that has become a hallmark of the opening to Scoot’s shows. (The munchkins were singing Take Me Home, Country Roads and Scoot’s Covid-inspired version of Sweet Caroline all the way home!) Darell Brockis’ big song and dance number as Doctor Pinch is also a particular highlight of this production.

It may have taken us twin trips to see the entirety of The Comedy of Errors but it was well worth the effort. They are still out and about in Surrey cricket grounds for another week so do try to catch them if you can. In most venues they are playing both The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night’s Dream one after the other, meaning you can squeeze in an entire afternoon of outdoor entertainment. The weather is looking good for the rest of the week (and even if things change, it’s all part of the fun!)

The Comedy of Errors is touring alongside A Midsummer Night’s Dream until 5 September 2021. We received complimentary tickets to the performance at Esher Cricket Club on Friday 6 August and Wimbledon Cricket Club on 27 August.