How has Duke Solinus’ world been represented and staged?
All the action in The Comedy of Errors takes place in the city of Ephesus, a bustling marketplace where ships come and go from around the world. Ephesus has strict rules, particularly for anyone visiting from Syracuse, an enemy city. Egeon, a Syracusan merchant, arrives illegally to find his lost wife and son and is sentenced to death unless he can pay a hefty fine. The look of Ephesus when Egeon (and Antipholus) first arrive as desperate strangers is important in setting the tone of a production of the play.
Take a look at the Things to Consider and investigate the different ways we’ve staged Duke Solinus’ world in past productions in this picture gallery.
As you look through the images and photographs from past productions of The Comedy of Errors, think about:
- How is Duke Solinus dressed when he sentences Egeon? Is he in military uniform? Is he surrounded by guards? How could you use his entrance to affect Egeon?
- Whether some productions are very different or if there are lots of similarities. In the 2021 production, director Phillip Breen set the play in a Gulf state such as Abu Dhabi or Qatar and worked with the design team to create a feel of luxury and global wealth but also a transient world where people come and go. What effect do you think this has? What might it suggest about Egeon’s fate?