Theatre Events

William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors

It’s summer in Munich. And this means, it’s open air theatre season. While the team currently busily and sweatily rehearses, I simply can’t wait to present this hilarious comedy. True, opinions about this comedy are rather split. Some think the play is not one of Shakespeare’s strongest plays, since the characters are not as psychologically developed as they are in the darker, or later comedies. Others argue that the play is written much in the vein of the commedia dell’arte and hence purposefully presents types rather than characters. Whichever position one may hold, I personally think that The Comedy of Errors is one of Shakespeare’s most hilarious comedies. It’s packed with slapstick, mistaken identities (and all the comical consequences) and witchcraft. Obviously, it also requires a good shipwreck to start the show, and catchy tune to close it. As in the year’s before, we will have a chance for the audience to participate—it wouldn’t be a proper outdoor Shakespeare without some help from the audience. Yes, audience participation. Can’t wait to see this.

THE STORY

Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell?
— Antipholus of Syracuse, The Comedy of Errors 

The Greek towns of Ephesus and Syracuse are at war with each other. One day, Syracusian merchant Ægeon is stranded in Ephesus while searching for his lost son Antipholus. Unfortunately, Ægeon is found out to be from Syracuse and consequently detained by Duke Solinus. When he informs the Duke that he lost both his wife and his identical twin sons, twenty-three years ago in a shipwreck, Duke Solinus begins to pity Ægeon and promises that he will free him if Ægeon manages to raise a ransom of 1,000 marks by 5 o’clock that same day.

At the same time, Antipholus arrives in Ephesus from Syracuse, together with his servant, Dromio. Both quickly disguise their identities to avoid being arrested – and yet, on their exploration of the town, everyone in Ephesus seems to know them by their names. A lady called Adriana, takes Antipholus into her home, even calling him husband; Angelo, a goldsmith, gifts Antipholus with a chain of pure gold; the local Courtezan greets Antipholus as a regular costumer – and Dromio, well, all of a sudden, he finds himself married to a local beauty! Antipholus and Dromio are confused and suspect that some witchcraft has possessed the Ephesians. The confusion increases when a second Antipholus and a second Dromio enter the scene – and are swiftly arrested for alleged misconduct.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking for Ægeon – will he find a friend in Ephesus to ransom him? Perhaps someone in the audience can help?

Photos by Tom Hafner

Directed by Conny Loder & John Yates, produced by Ken Lawler & Peter Heinz

Performance dates 7—10, 14—17 & 21—24 July 2022, 19:00

Munich, Theatron, Westpark.

Much Ado About Nothing

Behold — the trailer for Entity Theatre’s summer Shakespeare production is here: Much Ado About Nothing!

Entity Theatre is back with its summer Shakespeare!

Messina, 1901.The landed gentry around Leonato and Antonio await the end of the war between Don Pedro and his vicious brother, Don John. When Don Pedro returns victorious to Messina, he brings home with him not only the confirmed bachelor, Benedick, but also the eligible young Claudio.

Claudio and Hero, Leonato’s daughter, fall instantly in love with each other and plan an imminent wedding; meanwhile, Leonato’s niece Beatrice resumes her love-hate relationship with Benedick, trading insults.

Don Pedro is intent on tricking Benedick and Beatrice into publicly confessing their love for each other. At the same time, a bitter Don John and his followers, Borachio and Conrade, deceive Claudio by denouncing Hero as unchaste.


At the altar, Claudio refuses to marry Hero and the party disperses, many believing Hero to have died from the slanderous attack.Dogberry and his Watchmen are sent to investigate. And, since this is a comedy, the truth is brought to light and there will be a wedding after all. But who will be the bride?

William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, abr. by David Viita & Conny Loder

Directed by Conny Loder & John Yates, produced by Ken Lawler & Peter Heinz.

Performances: 7-11 & 14-18 July 2021, starting at 19:00h. Shows last approx. 100 minutes.Theatron, Westpark.

Free admission. Bring a blanket and a picnic. Further info: http://www.entitytheatre.com

News from Messina High School

Greetings from Messina High School! We have been BUSY! With zoom as our best friend now, we have rehearsed online — and we have started to record! Brace yourselves, this production will be a hybrid of an analogue 3D//digital zoom//audio-de-luxe entertainment! If you don’t believe us, why not check out our trailer and some witty banter betwixt Beatrice and Benedick. More teasers to follow.

Looking back at 2020 with the ESM Players

It’s been quite a roller coaster ride. In March, during dress rehearsal, COVID-19 stopped Romeo & Juliet in its final stages, moved it onto a digital stage but yet we had great hopes to go up in summer, in 3D. We didn’t. We stay digital.

Then came autumn. We started a new project — Much Ado About Nothing. And what can we say, despite it all, we’re still in rehearsal. Still working on it. Admittedly, we were moved back to the digital stage, but we hope this is only momentarily so. Because this production is different from all others that ESM Players have done before. This production will be a cinematic experience.

So, what have we been up to in the last months?

We did many close reading, trying to get actors into character — all safely distanced, all with VERY basic blocking: “Now, imagine that Benedick were to your left, Beatrice, and on line 25, you blow him a kiss.” And all this, with masks. Communication signals are sent via eyes, mostly. Be careful, enunciate but don’t project too much — this would help aerosols to spread. Who would have thought that directors were ever going to request less projection of their actors? Oh, corona.

But, there are some positive moments, too.

Jamming during rehearsal
Long distance blocking
Pretending that we can still put on a staged production…
Pretending, in costume
Here we go, digital it is again

And yet, we’re still hoping that after the lockdown we’ll be able to start filming for this wonderful project.

But now let’s hear it from the team.

Look at those fabulous costume drafts!

This is one of Lise’s works. Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more updates in the next months — Messina High School is awaiting prom night!

ESM Players welcome their audience to Messina High School!

ESM PLAYERS 2020/21 — the team

We’re back! This year’s team ESM Players is the biggest ever, we have grown to 24 participants! And we’re very excited to bring our version of Much Ado About Nothing to you next year, High School Messina.

The story: Hero prepares for her entry as prom queen for Homecoming. Donna Jane and Don Pedro return from a tournament in which Don Pedro’s team has successfully beaten Donna Jane’s team. Shortly before Homecoming, Claudio falls in love with Hero and vows to stop down from his team’s duties in order to spend time with Hero. Benedick, Claudio’s best friend, is not amused.

And it wouldn’t be high school if the seniors didn’t play some pranks on the juniors. And so, Don Pedro and Leonato, Hero’s brother, decide to bring Beatrice and Benedick together. Will it work?

Meanwhile School Security Chief Dogberry and his team try to maintain order at school, assuring Headmistress Sexton that there won’t be any incidents or disturbances during Homecoming.

Sister Francisca and her Well-Being team likewise take care of students’ daily woes, and thus often get to know school gossip firsthand.

Prom night is about to happen, the girls don their fancy dresses and the boys their tuxedos — but Donna Jane and her friends of mischief, Borachio and Conrade, have other plans…

New Normal in Masks

Stay tuned for updates on our journey!

Premiere! Tomorrow!

Up close and personal with The Tempest director, Conny Loder

Photo: Tom Hafner



How does this project differ from the summer open-air productions?
In our live open-air productions, we take down the so-called fourth wall: the actors play to all sides and enter from all sides (sometimes even through the seated audience); they engage with the audience and this interaction boosts the live performance – it gives something back to the actors. Anything can happen. These moments of intimacy, collectiveness, “live”-ness fall flat during a recorded performance without any audience present.

What were the main challenges in this production?
The actors all had to settle for their own private film sets: spaces needed to be adjusted, as well as lighting, the virtual backgrounds had to function with the costumes, sound difficulties needed to be sorted – all this on top of the actors actually not seeing each other and not seeing the actual perspective of the director. Because Zoom puts participants into a specific order on the screen by when they enter the meeting, we had to think about where we wanted each character to be positioned in relation to their scene partners. So instead of an actor coming from stage right, stage left, moving up or downstage, actor X signs in first, then actor Y, and so on. This require a new blocking format, which we referred to as “digital blocking.”

What was your favourite moment of this project?
That is yet to come: the premiere. It almost feels a bit like a premiere at the Theatron since we know that our audience will join in all at the same time to follow the show, only that this time we won’t be able to share this moment in the amphitheatre, but more with a global audience. Exciting!

Photos: Tom Hafner

And here it is — The Tempest. Enjoy!

The Tempest: an update

1 July has come and this means, only 8 more days till premiere! Team Tempest is super excited — here’s Entity Theatre’s trailer for this exciting project.

9 — 12 July 2020 streaming on Entity Theatre’s YouTube channel.

Premiere 9 July 2020, 7pm CET.

For further information, please visit: www.entitytheatre.com

#entitytheatre #digitaltempest #stayhome #bleibdaheim #dringeblieben

A New Adventure: Brave New World — The Tempest, going digital. A director ponders on the ups and downs of being caught in the virtual world. Part 1.

The Tempesters — cast introdcution
Our storm teaser: on board a ship, several nobles. What will happen? Only Prospero knows.

“Can you hear me now?”

“Your micropone is still on mute.”

“Crap, I think we just lost Trinculo.”

“Somehow this bottle completely disappears into the background. Got a different bottle?”

“Alonso, Sebastian is to your right and Antonia above your left shoulder.”

“No, your other right.”

“Here’s a sreenshot, everyone.”

“Why is this not working? I can hear everyone now but nobody can hear me. Now I can’t hear anyone anymore, but they can hear me… what’s going on?”

I stopped counting how often these sentences were uttered in the last four weeks. But we managed — sound, video, backgrounds, passing props from one frame to the next — all sorted. It’s been quite a journey. Now let’s start acting.

“Oh brave new world that has such people in it” or: theatres are allowed to open again, so why keeping the Tempest digital?

While the Bavarian Government opened the possibility for theatres to be back from 15 June, albeit with mighty restrictions, team Tempest decided to remain digital. I believe that outdoor theatre carries a specific mission. This mission is based on the idea to be open for all and everyone to come by, drop in, to join us without restrictions, bring along their family and friends and seat themselves in their convenient way, as outdoor theatre does. Currently it is impossible to accommodate for this. So, let’s stay digital. Let’s stay safe. Let’s entertain.

Why choose The Tempest? The Tempest is believed to be one of Shakespeare’s last plays, if not the last. As such it lends itself to be read as Shakespeare’s farewell from the professional theatre business, with Shakespeare rendering his farewell with Prospero’s epilogue. Maybe one can also read it as a farewell to lockdown? What will the world be like when we all meet again?

The play, specifically written to be performed indoors with its first recorded performance dating to 1611 at the court of James I, rings in a new staging practise. Similarly, for this digital project, directors and stage managment had to come up with some unique ideas to adapt to virtual staging. This also meant that actors had to accommodate for the missing scenery and set by setting up a home film-studio in their living rooms or bedrooms. Some were even banned to the cellar by their families for rehearsals. It’s a hard life in theatre business… Isolation fun?

In Renaissance time, the shift indoors also brought along opportunities. The different acoustics allowed more subtle and quiet music to be used; a candlelit theatre created the famous fourth wall and as such drew the audience into an illusion, created on stage. Think about all the magic tricks that could now be performed. And we also have some that we can’t wait to show you.

© Pete Le May / The Globe Theatre
https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/whats-on/sam-wanamaker-playhouse-tour-2019/#photos-videos

Costumes became more precious as they no longer were exposed to the wind and the rain… We know that Inigo Jones (1573-1652), architect and contemporary of Shaksepeare, designed the costumes for the play’s sophisticated and stilised Wedding Masque.

Drawing of a Lady Masquer; Also a fiery spirit from Thomas Campion’s The Lord’s Masque performed alongside The Tempest in 1613; Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth
https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/inigo-jones-designs-for-masque-costumes

Our Wedding Masque looks superb. Beautiful music and singing, and wonderful costumes. But beware when those spirits turn into harpies…

So here we are. Are we “such stuff as dreams are made on?” Possibly. Stranded in the virtual world, we’re trying to connect to the real world. We’ll zoom ourselves to you. The first four weeks have been quite an interesting journey.

Tempest Team, at their first zoom rehearsal

How interesting? Stay tuned. I’ll talk some more about it next time. There are some entertaining facts coming up to be shared with you all.

The Tempest — a digital project will be streamed on Entity Theatre’s YouTube channel in July. More info on http://www.entitytheatre.com.

ESM Players’ Romeo & Juliet, turned digital.

We hoped. We waited. We rehearsed online. And yet, we still don’t know if we will be able to go up this year with our romantic tragedy. We therefore thought we might want to shift Shakespeare’s Verona to an online, digital place — and bring an adapted version of this play to via social distancing means.

Accordingly cast and crew continued to work together through video conferences, and we managed to edit a little show for you to watch. We hope it pleases you.

Enjoy — and thank you all for your generous support! We will be back.