Michael Kitchen reciting the poetry of love from Shakespeare in this video clip of him as Antipholus of Syracuse making romantic overtures to Luciana. His ardent words are met with shock and dismay, though, since Luciana has mistaken him for her brother-in-law, Antipholus of Ephesus, and thus believes him to be already married to her sister!

The BBC Shakespeare Plays: Making the Televised Canon, by Susan Willis, contains interesting behind-the-scenes details about the making of The Comedy of Errors that highlight Michael Kitchen’s professionalism. I was most surprised to read that MK was sick with a bad cold during the first two days of filming, which included the segment in the clip. His illness isn’t evident to me, although Willis writes that MK “looked very drawn during the taping”. Willis also explains that while performing the scenes upstairs in the Phoenix, MK was always conscious of the shadow of his head falling on the faces of the actors across from him and tried to manuever his head out of the way whenever possible.

And according to Willis, “Kitchen was not interested in fighting; he might be seen buying a sword but did not want to draw it.” As a result, the traditional opening of Act V Scene I showing Antipholus and Dromio battling witches and demons was replaced with the two of them being chased around the set instead. All in all, the production seems to have been a highly collaborative one between the director and actors — the way MK likes it.

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