Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

The Comedy of Errors (1984, James Cellan-Jones)

TitleThe Comedy of Errors
Release LocationsGB
DirectorJames Cellan-Jones
MediumColor video
Length1 hrs, 50 mins
Audiencegeneral public
Play ConnectionsThe Comedy of Errors (interpretation)
SeriesThe Shakespeare Plays


As with all the BBC television productions, the text is based on the Peter Alexander edition with cuts and alterations made by the BBC's own editor, in this case Mr. David Snodin. A main feature is the "doubling" of the principal characters, the Antipholuses and the Dromios, the latter being portrayed by rock star, Roger Daltrey. The director felt that doubling was called for not just in the context of trick photography but also because of internal textual evidence suggesting the same actor played both roles even in Shakespeare's time. The commedia dell'arte style allows integration of mimes and street players into the plot and mise en scène. Equally attention-getting is the huge map of the eastern Mediterranean that makes up the market floor and the marvelous lighting that gives the illusion of a sun-drenched Mediterranean seaport town. Subtly underscoring the play's adherence to the neoclassical doctrine of the unities of time and place is the lighting on the set's small houses that shifts with the sun's movements

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

SolinusCharles Gray
AegeonCyril Cusack
Antipholus of Syracuse and EphesusMichael Kitchen
DromiosRoger Daltrey
AngeloSam Dastor
First MerchantNoel Johnson
Second MerchantAlfred Hoffman
PinchGeoffrey Rose
AemiliaWendy Hiller
AdrianaSuzanne Bertish
LucianaJoanne Pearce
LuceMarsha Fitzalan
CourtezanIngrid Pitt
GaolerBunny Reed
BalthazarDavid Kelly
MessengerPeter MacKriel
OfficerFrank Williams
CastNick Burnell
Master MimeNicholas Chagrin
CastGrahm Christopher
CastRoss Davidson
CastHoward Lee
CastDaniel Rouvai
CastPaul Springer
Mime TroupeJenny Weston

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorJames Cellan-Jones
Director's AssistantRaquel Ebbutt
ProducerShaun Sutton
Literary ConsultantJohn Wilders
Video EditorPeter Raason
ComposerRichard Holmes
Adaptor/TranslatorDavid Snodin
Production ManagerPeter Hider
MakeupCecile Hay-Arthur
CostumesJune Hudson
Vision MixerJulie Mann
LightingDave Sydenham
SoundAnthony Chick
CameraGeoff Field
ProductionDon Homfray
Production AssociateFraser Lowden
Technical CoordinatorJohn Bird
BuyerMagda Olenda

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell