Shakespeare: Three Classical Stratford Comedies
One of Shakespeare's later comedies, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of two very different sets of lovers: Beatrice and Benedick, and Claudio and Hero. Love, they say, is blind, and so it seems as misleading appearances, mistaken identities and deceptions both playful and perverse unfold. As Beatrice and Benedick wage a merry war of witty insults, the villainous Don John plots to destroy Hero's and Claudio's happiness. But the Don is thwarted by the redoubtable Dogberry, and though "men were deceivers ever", true love eventually prevails - even, it seems, over death itself. The Comedy of Errors: Two sets of identical twins spell double trouble in Shakespeare's zaniest comedy. Who would have guessed that Antipholus's long-lost identical twin had just arrived in town? Or that his servant, Dromio, also has a newly-landed identical-twin? Sheer confusion and delightful nonsense reign in Shakespeare's most madcap comedy, culminating in a series of misunderstandings that brings everyone to the brink of hysteria. This 1990 CBC/Stratford Festival co-production was brought to the legendary Stratford stage by the beloved director Richard Monette. Considered one of Shakespear's greatest comedies, As You Like It is, on one level, a merry amusement, but on a deeper level, the characters discuss love, aging, the natural world, & death. Rosalind, the daughter of the banished Duke Senior, falls in love with Orlando, the disinherited son of one of the Duke's friends. When she is banished from court by her usurping uncle Duke Frederick, Rosalind disguises herself as Ganymede & travels with her royal cousin Celia & the Jester Touchstone to the Forest of Arden where her father & his friends live in Exile. Orlando joins the outcasts & seeing an opportunity to test his love. Rosalind engages him in a game of role-playing.