Theater archives

Propeller Brings The Comedy of Errors to BAM…and Mexico


Missed your flight to Cancun this March? You’re in luck. The all-male Propeller company’s gleefully faux-Mexican Comedy of Errors (now at BAM, in a production directed by Edward Hall) is a little vacation in itself—a boys-gone-wild frenzy of margaritas and mixed identities.

Shakespeare’s comedy wreaks havoc upon two sets of identical twins—the brothers Antipholus (Dugald Bruce-Lockhart and Sam Swainsbury), and their matching servants, the brothers Dromio (Richard Frame and Jon Trenchard). Both duos were separated as infants in an improbable incident involving a shipwreck and giant boulder. Now, both pairs unwittingly roam the same city, with mayhem guaranteed.

Hall transports this concoction to a south-of-the-border fantasyland—pastel beverages, strings of colored lightbulbs. Decked out in soccer jerseys and sombreros, the excellent ensemble capers around, making the Bard’s silly hijinks even sillier. There’s an un-silenceable buzzer, an S&M nun, and a firecracker in someone’s butt. At intermission, the cast assembles in the lobby for a mariachi-style medley of ’80s favorites (“Material Girl,” “Billie Jean”).

Propeller’s cheerful fakery gestures to the falseness of all seemingly permanent identities, as husbands and wives, masters and servants, lose their formerly stable footing. And the cheekily touristic atmosphere lets us feel like happily befuddled strangers ourselves—in a jovial country we’d gladly visit again.