This version of Shakespeare’s ‘two sets of twins’ comedy took a bold step in having Desmond Barrit and Graham Turner playing two parts each – so the twins really were identical! The music reflects the magical and madcap nature of the production, including the moment towards the end of the suite where our distraught heroes seek refuge in a nearby abbey. Of course everything is resolved at the end, and, as Dromio says, “We came into the world like brother and brother; and now let’s go hand in hand, not one before another”.
"Nigel Hess's clever music, indulging in all kinds of aural smirks, outraces the stage action and becomes something like a laugh track that's run amok." (John Simon, New York Magazine)
"The wonderful soundtrack of Nigel Hess merges that of films like Bunuel's L'Age d'Or with Mediterranean circus." (Michael Coveney, The Observer)
Description: suite for orchestra
Duration (mins): 10
Genre: Orchestral - Full Orchestra
Instrumentation: 1.1.1.asax.1 - 3.2.1.btrbn.0 - timp - perc(2): cyms/whip/tpl.bl/drum kit/wdbl/mark tree/claves/vib/glsp/susp.cym/cast/tgl/guiro - harp - pno* - synth* - strings (min 44321) * - piano and synth also exist in a single-player composite part
Commission Details: From incidental music written for the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of William Shakespeare's 'The Comedy of Errors'
First Performance: FP: 4.8.1983, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK: Royal Shakespeare Company