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Comedy of Errors
by Thomas Hull
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From Library Journal
These are the first two titles in Penguin's newly revamped "Pelican Shakespeare" series. The Pelicans have been the leading editions for many years, but the publisher realized that much new scholarship on the plays has been unearthed since the series was introduced. Eight Shakespeare scholars were hired to produce new, more accurate texts plus introductions and textual notes. The good stuff just gets better with age.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This production performed by the Shakespeare Recording Society (with special guests)--is excellent in its arena-like recording quality. Stereo potential is used to its fullest--one character speaks on your left, and another seems to respond from somewhere on the far right. You get the sense that you're actually in a theater. The technique works especially well in this play because of its many street scenes and tricky character switches. For example, many times the only way listeners can hear the difference between Dromio of Ephesus (played by Bernard Bresslaw) and Dromio of Syracuse (Harry H. Corbett) is the very slight alteration in the depth of the recording. Of course, an expert in vocal patterns might be able to discern Bresslaw's voice from Corbett's, but, given their fantastic, churlish cockney--and the fact that they're trying to sound alike--it's not as easy for the rest of us. R.A.P. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
We came into the world like brother and brother; And now let's go hand in hand, not one before another. - Dromio of Ephesus
The Comedy of Errors is likely the very first play Shakespeare ever wrote, and for that reason alone it deserves a special place in literary history. Yet, despite the author's lack of maturity, the play is unmistakably the work of a burgeoning master. A farce of a type that was wildly popular in Shakespeare's day, The Comedy of Errors transcends its genre, and is as accessible and as entertaining as any of the Bard's later comedies. Revolving around the naturally comedic themes of identical twins and mistaken identity, The Comedy of Errors is a delightful milestone in the remarkable career of the greatest dramatist of all time.
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