YES it is that time of the year again! British open-air touring theatre company Illyria returns to the Netherlands with Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors from 30 August till 3 September.
In their 26th open-air touring season, and renowned all over the world for their clarity, quality and ingenuity, Illyria return to their home-turf: Shakespearean comedy
In the bard’s shortest, funniest and most rumbustious comedy two sets of identical twins, separated at birth, unknowingly end up in the same city, and through a series of chance meetings their lives and sanity begin to unravel. More and more people are sucked into a vortex of mistaken identity including an Officer who is paid per arrest, a Goldsmith who hasn’t been paid at all, a delayed Merchant, an irate Courtesan and a mad Exorcist. To say nothing of a wife who sometimes feels her husband is two different personalities, and a poor Immigrant who is arrested for being the wrong nationality. And what exactly is the Abbess of Ephesus’s dark secret? Will anything ever make sense again?
To cap it all, this year Illyria’s Shakespeare production is re-located to the town of Ephesus, Mexico, and is performed by our very own 5-piece Mariachi band, resplendent in ponchos and sombreros. Ay caramba!
Illyria is an intrepid band of 5 actors who perform Shakespeare’s plays, entirely uncut, direct from the First Folio, the most authoritative edition of Shakespeare’s plays. Part of the fun with Illyria, as they hurtle towards the final scene, is trying to work out how they can possibly reach the end without needing more actors! It’s fast, it’s polished and it’s spoken beautifully (uniquely among open-air touring theatre companies Illyria’s artistic director has published articles on verse-speaking) – and scholars on both sides of the Atlantic agree that Illyria’s performance style is the most authentically Elizabethan to be seen.
Since 1992 they have performed on what feels like every patch of grass from Land’s End to John O-Groats – and also in Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, USA and Canada. They are the only UK open-air touring company to have won no less than 4 international awards, and have a justified reputation for being, quite simply, the best.