“While the surface of Loughan’s production has neat neon lighting and a sexy synthesized soundtrack, her overall concept doesn’t stand up to scrutiny…
The idea that this city-state is an accepting community is belied by the opening scene in which Egeon, played by White in a Victorian suit complete with top hat, is sentenced to death – due to his identity as a Syracusan – by the Duke, played by Chioran in a long skirt in heels.
On a purely visual level, we seem to be to be dealing with a transgender tyrant sending the only male-identifying character wearing stereotypical male clothing in the production to death row. We could very well be in a dystopia as imagined by Jordan Peterson.”
“The fully committed company is delightfully good. The two sets of twins at the centre of the play are Antipholus of Syracuse (Jessica B. Hill) and Antipholus of Ephesus (Qasim Khan) and Dromio of Syracuse (Beryl Bain) and Dromio of Ephesus (Josue Laboucane)… All four actors are excellent and play well off of one another as each character is constantly being confused for his or her twin.
This production contains all the humour that one would expect from this play, but then also offers the opportunity for deeper thought and discussion long after the show ends.”
“Much of the success of such opulent cross-gender casting including Antipholus of Syracuse (Jessica B. Hill) and Dromio of Syracuse (Beryl Bain), two women pretending to be men, is due to the skills of both director Keira Loughran and designer Joanna Yu, with the latter’s costumes deserving a place of prominence in the company’s cast list of characters…Thanks to a talented and perceptive director, imaginative cast and marvelously innovative production crew there are no errors in this entry, for which William Shakespeare would be truly appreciative.”
“Has the Ephesus of the play been taken over by the acceptance of transvestism or is Ephesus meant to be a model of gender-fluidity? In either case, the concept only adds confusion to an already confusing play…Though the play is only about an hour and forty minutes long, by the end you are more exhausted than exhilarated.”
“The production builds and builds to some genuinely hilarious moments, none more so than a ridiculous sequence involving the quack magician Dr. Pinch (Rod Beattie)….Laboucane and Khan run with their great roles and provide the evening’s best moments through their acute line readings and physical humour….While Heins gives a compelling performance as the elegant, confident Courtesan, the next step for Stratford will be the hiring of trans actors for trans roles.”