The Boys From Syracuse

Louise starred as Adriana in The New Shakespeare Company's production at The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre from 24 July (previews 22 July) to 5 September 1991. That Autumn the production went on tour, including playing The Forum Theatre Billingham Cleveland around 17 September 1991, and Theatre Royal Brighton from 14 to 19 October 1991.  The tour may have also included the University Of Warwick Arts Centre. Harlequin Theatre Redhill soon after 5 September 1991

This Musical version of A Comedy of Errors was directed by Judi Dench, herself familiar with the role of Adriana, fortunately:

 "I would never give actors inflections; it inhibits their creativity, particularly in a part I'd played myself." Judi Dench to Michael Arditti, THE EVENING STANDARD, 25 July 1991.

To which it is added:

 "It's a trap she's aware of again with Louise Gold's Adriana, although I would give a lot to hear Dame Judi's version of Falling In Love With Love" Michael Arditti. THE EVNING STANDARD, 25 July 1991.



Sergeant - Robert Lister

Duke - Nick Kemp

Aegeon - Jim McManus

Anthipholus of Ephesus - Bill Homewood

Dromio of Ephesus - Gavin Muir

Tailor - David Gooderson

Anthipholus of Syracuse - Peter Woodward

Dromio of Syracuse - Richard O'Callaghan

Merchant of Syracuse - Keith Osborn

Apprentice - Samatha Spiro

Angelo - Martin Chamberlain

Corporal - Daniel Ryan

Luce - Jenny Galloway

Adriana - Louise Gold

Luciana - Gillian Bevan

Maids - Sarah Parks and Emily Raymond

Sorcerer - Jim McManus

Courtesan - Anna Nicholas

Fatima - Emily Raymond

Courtesans/Amazons - Jo Montgomery and Samantha Spiro

Merchant of Ephesus - David Gooderson

Emilia - Sarah Parks


Production Team

Music - Richard Rodgers

Lyrics - Lorenz Hart

Book - George Abbott

Based on "The Comedy Of Errors" by William Shakespeare

Original Production – 23 November 1938, The Alvin Theatre, Broadway, with Muriel Angelus as Adriana

Director - Judi Dench

Designer - James Merifield

Musical Director - Catherine Jayes

Choreographer - Kenn Oldfield

Lighting Designer - Jason Taylor

Sound Designer - Simon Whitehorn


Many of the cast also appeared in the New Shakespeare Company's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream that year. Louise Gold returned to The New Shakespeare Company and The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre six years later, in 1997, to star in Kiss Me Kate.

As The Boys From Syracuse was presented in repertory (with  A Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth), the actual dates of the performances were: Previews from 22 and 23 July. Performance from: 24 to 30 July, 10 to 14 August, 21 to 23 August, 29 and 30 August, and, 4 and 5 September.

The show was nominated for four Olivier Awards, namely: James Merifield nominated for Costume Designer Of The Year, Jenny Galloway nominated for Outstanding Performance Of The Year In A Supporting Role In A Musical Or Entertainment, Judi Dench nominated for Director Of The Year Of A Musical Or Entertainment, The Show nominated for Outstanding Revival Of The Year Of A Musical (on the latter it seems to have lost out to Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat). Out of these four nominations, the show actually won two Olivier Awards.  Judi Dench won for Best Musical Revival and Jenny Galloway won for Best Supporting Actress In A Musical.

Funnily enough about eight years later, as Rosie in Mamma Mia, Jenny Galloway was again the winner of Best Supporting Actress In A Musical.

The trio: Gillian Bevan, Jenny Galloway and Louise Gold went on to reprise their performance of Sing For Your Supper in: Regents Park 70th Anniversary Gala This occasion also featured Samantha Spiro, and Judi Dench, with musical direction by Catherine Jayes, while Kenn Oldfield contributed to the choreography.

Gillian Bevan and Louise Gold may also have danced Kenn Oldfield’s choreography in Comedy Tonight

Judi Dench may also have gone on to appear in Comedy Tonight

Kenn Oldfield had previously done some of the choreography for Will-Aid.

Seventeen years earlier, as a young actress just starting out, Louise Gold had played Theatre Royal Brighton as a member of The Tribe in a tour Hair.

Five years earlier Gillian Bevan was briefly an understudy/replacement for Louise Gold in a production of Blood Brothers.

Louise Gold and Jenny Galloway had previously appeared together in Godspell.

Choreographer Kenn Oldfield had appeared on stage with Louise Gold, fifteen years earlier, in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Touring Production) .

Judi Dench went on to sing on a recording of Cabaret.

Louise Gold and Anna Nicholas went on to appear in Follies.

Judi Dench went on to appear in Side By Side By Sondheim 30th Anniversary Gala.

Anna Nicholas went on to appear in A Love Letter To Dan.

Gillian Bevan may previously have taken part in Thing A Thon, her recording credits include Centre Stage Showtime!, Magic Of The Musicals, 100 Hits Musicals, and, The Great Musicals - From Broadway to Hollywood.


Critics Comments

 " - Louise Gold's ardent Adriana bills and coos with the wrong Antipholus, poking her lovely head through little leaded windows to shoo off the real husband." Claire Armitstead, FIANCIAL TIMES, 26 July 1991

 "After the second rude interruption, Louise Gold, as Adriana declared it was a lovely day. Huddled under our macs and brollies, we believed her. And when the gleefully statuesque, not-so-pure Gold ripped into the splendid trio of "Sing for your Supper", we would have believed anything" Michael Coveney, THE OBSERVER, 28 July 1991

  "Louise Gold, one of our best soubrettes, makes a valiant prima donna." Robert Cushman, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, 4 August 1991

 "Louise Gold and Gillian Beavan have many good moments as the ladies of Ephseus" Michael Darvell, WHAT'S ON, 31 July 1991

 Peter Woodward as Antipholous is particularly good, as are Louise Gold and Gillian Beavan as the sisters" Christopher Edwards, SPECTATOR, 3 August 1991

 "Louise Gold not only produces a sweeter tone than the others as Adriana, but also coos winningly as she lures the wrong man back to bed" Harry Eyres, THE TIMES, 26 July 1991

 "Louise Gold mixes comedy and romance with perfect aplomb." John Gross, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, 28 July 1991

 "There was more cleaver contrast in the portrayals of the sisters Adriana - and Luciana -, by Louise Gold and Gillian Beavan. Joined by Jenny Galloway - they made much of the show's third well-known song Sing For Your Supper." Peter Hepple, THE STAGE, 1 August 1991

 "The women aren’t bad either. Louise Gold, Gillian Beavan and Jenny Calloway are collective showstoppers as they trill, in close harmony, Sing For Your supper." Clive Hirschhorn, SUNDAY EXPRESS, 28 July 1991

 "The expression that Louise Gold (Adriana) puts into her coos and glances - I particularly like the look she gives the dancing chicken -speak comic volumes." Rhoda Koenig, PUNCH, 13 August 1991

 “Gillian Bevan and Louise Gold find in the lyrics of Lorenz Hart that bittersweet mix of lost love and rediscovered dispare.” Sheridan Morely, HERALD TRIBUNE, 31 July 1991.

 "The "Sing for you supper" trio (Louise Gold, Gillian Beavan, Jenny Calloway) is elegant, impertinent and deliciously dirty" John Peter SUNDAY TIMES, 4 August 1991

 "Louise Gold, as a wife, does sweet service to her songs" Milton Shulman (source unknown), 25 July 1991

 "Singing and Acting honours go to Louise Gold as Adriana, who could coo any man, even the wrong one, into bed" David Sonin, JEWISH CHRONICLE, 2 August 1991

 "The adaptation softens the character of Adriana - Louise Gold plays her delightfully, as a woman whose sexual potential is being far from fully tapped. There's an aura of surplus desire about her that is both comic and wistful. It's characteristic that at the end - Gold doesn't freak out but coos like a rampant dove" Paul Taylor, INDEPENDENT, 26 July 1991

 "Falling In Love With Love, sung with exquisite sweetness by Louise Gold, a monument to precariously-controlled wifely patience." …."But it is Sing For Your Supper, trilled in harmony by Miss Gold, Gillian Bevan and Jenny Galloway, which stops the show. Do go." Jack Tinker, THE DAILY MAIL, 25 July 1991.


Links about The Boys From Syracuse

Page about the show on a site about Lorenz Hart:

The Dame Judi Dench Chronolgy, page about her directing work: (includes a colour photograph of the production, with Louise Gold as Adriana)

The International Herald Tribune’s review of the show:

Regents Park Theatre History (details of a fairly comprehensive book by David Corville):

Mark Shenton’s Blog Entry (refers to this production of the show):


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