Two comedy classics meld in school show

Island Oak High School’s senior students are presenting Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Comedy of Errors this Thursday and Friday

Never bring an umbrella to a sword fight. Island Oak students took advantage of some free time to rehearse a fight scene from their upcoming hilarious take on Shakespeare, ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Comedy of Errors.’ Here, Antipholous of Syracuse (Shiming Huang, left) battles against a merchant (Raven Myren) over a debt disagreement as Antipholous’ assistant Dromico of Syracuse (Nikolai Lampson, centre) looks on.

Life can be funny — and weird.

In that spirit, Island Oak High School’s senior students are presenting Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Comedy of Errors this Thursday and Friday, a hilarious fusion of Shakespeare and science fiction author Douglas Adams that looks at what happens when two sets of long-lost twins meet up unexpectedly.

“Comedy of Errors is by Shakespeare, so we’ve taken that script and I’ve cut it down quite a bit, and then this was the kids’ idea, they’ve taken Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and designed a kind of framing device for the play,” said Karen Lee Pickett, a guest artist at Island Oak who is directing the play. “So the book from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy comes on and explains a little bit about what’s happening in the play in that Douglas Adams style.”

Pickett, who is also the artistic director of the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival, said working on the play has been a blast with rehearsals taking place since February.

“It’s crazy, mistaken identity. There’s everything from wives mistaking her husband to an exorcism,” Pickett said, adding that the play runs around an hour in length.

The play has also been a chance for the cast of 11 and the extended crew to creatively excel.

“The kids have been in charge of all the technical elements of the play, so the sets, the costumes, the sound design, lighting design, advertising, poster, front of house management,” Pickett said.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to a Comedy of Errors takes place on Thursday, March 17 at 6 p.m. and Friday, March 18 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Mercury Theatre at 331 Brae Rd. in Duncan. Tickets are available at the door for a suggested donation of $10.

For more information on Island Oak High School visit www.islandoak.org

Cowichan Valley Citizen

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