comedy of errors 248.88.
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Mistaken identity, wild mishaps and accusations of demonic possession - all can be found in Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors," which will be playing in Jerusalem at Merkaz Hamagshimim's Center Stage Theater this month.
"Comedy of Errors is one of Shakespeare's shortest plays; it's also one of his first comedies," explained Rafi Poch, director of Center Stage Theater. "Shakespeare wrote it under the influence of commedia dell'arte so there's a lot of wit in terms of actual text and also a lot of physical humor."
Set in ancient Greece, the play tells the story of two sets of twins that were separated at birth. A master and his servant come from Syracuse to Ephesus, which unbeknownst to them is the home of each one's identical twin brother. What results is a series of crazy mishaps as the pair from Syracuse encounter the friends and family of the Ephesus duo.
According to Poch, it is full of "shenanigans" and "hilarity," and this is what his production focuses on.
"We're trying to highlight some of the shenanigans that are going on, as well as the fact that nobody has any clue to what's happening," he said. "Except for the brothers from Syracuse, all the characters are from different time periods, from all over the place, and don't necessarily belong in that setting."
Poch explains, "Everyone is from one city except for the two brothers, and those two people come into this land and just think, 'this is insane, this doesn't work, why are all these people from all over and why are they treating us like royalty?'"
The cast is almost as varied as the characters and includes new immigrants from all over the world as well as professional actors from Israel.
Poch says that the play will appeal to "anyone with a good sense of humor looking for a wonderful night full of laughter."
Comedy of Errors will be playing at Merkaz Hamagshimim Hadassah from November 12-26. Tickets cost NIS 60, with discounts available for students, soldiers, seniors, children and groups. For more information call (02) 561-9165 or visit www.themerkaz.org