Tag Archives: The Comedy of Errors

Michael Kitchen displaying his facility at noosing a rope

and eating seeded grapes while acting in a scene.


Antipholus of Syracuse is accosted by Adriana, his identical twin’s wife, who has mistaken him for her husband, Antipholus of Ephesus, and misinterprets his apathy toward her as that of a straying lover. Having never laid eyes on her in his life, he’s simply treating her as the stranger she is, and is completely baffled by the accusations hurled at him.  Her self-righteous declaration of fidelity elicits a reaction of astonished amusement from him (the “Phew” cracks me up).  I love Michael Kitchen’s bemused expressions as his character tries to make sense of the odd situation in which he finds himself.

Source: Radio Times

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.

Bolstered by a priest at his back and Dromio’s distractions, a googly eyed Antipholus eventually manages to tear himself away from the seductive powers of the Courtesan.

Photo: Ingrid Pitt, Queen of Horror: The Complete Career

Michael Kitchen as Antipholus of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors

Over 30 years ago, Roger Daltrey stepped out of his comfort zone to peform Shakespeare with Michael Kitchen. How fun if the tables were turned with MK helping The Who celebrate 50 years together. 🙂

My top 20 Michael Kitchen roles:

16. Antipholus of Ephesus/ Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors (1983)

So much fun to watch MK play twins in Shakespeare’s wonderful if improbable comedy of mistaken identity.

Embed from Getty Images

Dromio helps his master, Antipholus, verify his story and is rewarded like a trained pet dog in this scene from The Comedy of Errors (1983) with Michael Kitchen and Roger Daltrey.

Still utterly perplexed by the unfamiliar woman claiming to be his wife and clinging to him like ivy to a tree trunk, Antipholus of Syracuse decides to play along for the time being, which sets the stage for a series of hilarious mishaps when her actual husband (and his twin), Antipholus of Ephesus, shows up.


Michael Kitchen as Antipholus of Syracuse (collar up) and Antipholus of Ephesus (collar down).