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The Comedy of Error(z)

Ballett Theater Basel & Basel Symphony Orchestra

Choreography: Richard Wherlock

Musical direction and conductor: Thomas Herzog

Light Design: Yaron Abulafia

Set design: Bruce French

Dramaturgy: Gregor Acuña-Pohl

Music: Antony Genn & Martin Slattery

Costume design: Catherine Brickhill

Ballet masters & assistants for the choreographer: Cristiana Sciabordi, Manuel Renard, Ayako Nakano

Photos by © Lucia Hunziker & Yaron Abulafia

World premiere at Ballett Theater Basel, Switzerland - May 2019


Richard Wherlock’s contemporary adaptation of The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare ironically confronts us with a sort of (moral) blindness - social prejudices and fear regarding the ‘otherness’ in foreign human beings. 

The reunion of two sets of identical twins who were accidentally split at birth and now come across each other in Ephesus, is full of identification mistakes. This misidentification between the twin brothers is amplified against the background of national classification and inequality between powerful natives and displaced people seeking shelter, as happens today with refugees fleeing from warzones toward safer European shores. 

And so, the underworld of fenced Syracuse, partly fuses with the capitalistic world of Ephesus, leading to situations charged with preconceptions, short-sightedness and inability to observe reality as it is indeed. Ironically, the foreigners who are not welcomed at first turn out to be the lost (biological) brothers – the identical twins.