RECONSIDERING ‘DOUBLING’: THE CASE OF GLOBE ON TOUR’S COMEDY OF ERRORS (2009-2011)
Keywords:British theatre, performance studies, Shakespeare
AbstractDoubling, originally devised out of necessity in scaled-down productions with limited resources, had not yet been fully cultivated on modern stage, though its theatrical potential had been the subject of some papers. Here comes Globe on Tour’s production of The Comedy of Errors (director: Rebecca Gatward), first performed in 2009 and revived subsequently in 2010 and 2011. This paper examines how doubling is employed in this production, focusing in particular on two crucial scenes, the ‘lock-out scene’ and the ‘reunion scene’. Although both scenes are difficult to perform with doublings, the subject of mixed up identities dovetails with the intricate doubling strategy of this production. In addition, multiple doublings in this production provide more physical comedy and therefore enhance the comic essence in the text. Finally, Globe’s touring production demonstrates how the embodied characters co-create the situation of ultimate confusions with the spectators. Doubling can help to establish ultimate intimacy between the audience and the performer with all the tricks and the errors they share and therefore functions as an alternative method of breaking the fourth wall.
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