Lenny Henry in The Comedy of Errors
The Comedian Follows Up Othello With Another Shakespeare Classic at The National Theatre
In 2009 audiences around the country were surprised by the positive reception received for Lenny Henry’s dabbling with Shakespeare. The comedian had begun a run in “Othello” at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and in the process he had made the headlines as theatregoers saw him in a new light. So it was inevitable that the production would make an eventual transfer to a London theatre and it did so later in the year when it was welcomed by Trafalgar Studios.
And whilst that has long finished its run Henry has no plans to place Shakespeare back on the bookshelf as Baz Bamigboye in the Daily Mail reveals he will be appearing in “The Comedy of Errors” at the National Theatre.
The story follows two sets of masters and servants who discover the hard – and farcical way – that they have long-lost twin brothers respectively. Shakespeare’s famous comedy then sees the characters make their ways – coincidentally – to the same town where they accidentally mix with one another’s friends though cases of mistaken identity. But being a famous farce there is plenty more to this classic play, which was last seen in the capital when it was staged at the Open Air Theatre in London’s Regent’s Park in 2010, with the setting moved to 1940s Casablanca.
So Lenny Henry will become the latest familiar face to appear in the capital in 2011, with Keira Knightly also continuing her run in “The Children’s Hour”, Benedict Cumberbatch remaining in “Frankenstein” and Kara Tointon & Rupert Everett set to appear in Pygmalion.
Henry is a well known comedian who came to fame in the 1970s when he appeared on the talent show “New Faces”. Since then he has appeared in a wealth of shows onscreen, including “The Young Ones”, “Chef!”, “Hope and Glory”, “The Lenny Henry Show” and, more recently, “Live at the Apollo”.
William Shakespeare penned “The Comedy of Errors” in the 1590s and is celebrated as his most farcical, bringing in some familiar elements from his other works – notably the cases of mistaken identity.
It runs at the Olivier National Theatre from November 2011, with more specific dates yet to be confirmed.