Everyone has gone through that experience where we thought we recognise someone on a busy street, in a club etc and enthusiastically greeted them only to realise they were not who we thought they were. I once walked past my local McDonald’s drive-through and thought I spotted a car of someone who I had seen in a very long time so I walked up to the passenger window, rather loudly knocked the window for the drive to turn around and not be the person I anticipated. Instead of standing there and explaining that I had made a massive mistake, I simply just ran away from embarrassment leaving the driver more confused than they would have already been. The other one I experience (more frequently than I really should) is when stood at a crossing or a busy venue, I notice someone waving at me so wave back just for them to gesture that they were in fact waving to the person behind me which again leads to massive embarrassment. I don’t know what it is about these embarrassing situations that make me want to just run away as they could have easily be solved by me simply explaining the confusion but instead, I leave and never address it again which means hours, days, or even years I still think about these situations with terrible embarrassment!
I was recently made aware of a brand new one-act play by Dollar Shakespeare called the mix-up which tells the story of mistaken identity with hilarious consequences. This new piece of theatre was written by Matteo Esposito which follows James (played by the talented Ashton Black) and Greg (played by the wonderful Joe Chance Dudley) as they try to reconnect with an old flame called Debra (played by the amazing Danielle Rosato) which does not go to plan after a case of mistaken identity. Ashton delivered a youthful and energetic performance as the supportive friend who encourages their friend to reconnect with an ex. I was very impressed by Joe’s performance as Greg who is the classic awkward and uncomfortable person. He delivers some very hilarious moments that were so wonderfully uncomfortable that showed how great Joe is as a performer. Not only this but Joe also directed the play which would require a tremendous amount of talent and skill as I know from personal experience that being both on and off-screen is extremely stressful if not managed perfectly and Joe seemed completely unfazed during this performance!
When the 2020 series of lockdowns were announced, I believe that many theatres looked at online performances as a necessity instead of its own genre of theatre. As venues were not allowed to have an in house audience, they looked for ways to showcase their work in a different method and so online theatre was popularised. Over time, however, I think people are looking at these zoom performances as it’s own unique pathway and so some shows have become more suited to this genre. Dollar Shakespeare’s virtual production of the mix up is an example of work that has been carefully created to fit this online format. This show had been engineered in a way that the chemistry between all the performers in this show made the interactions/conversations between the performers seem natural and in fact, made me forget about the fact that the actors are physically very far apart from one another. This also means that the show could be easily translated into a live/ in-person production with I imagine the stage being divided into three separate scenes.
Overall this a super innovative and unique performance that uses the online format to its advantage throughout. It is a hilarious play that is accessible and relatable as many people would have experienced very similar situations throughout their lifetimes and the performers were able to capture the range of emotions of this experience perfectly! I would rate this 4 out of 5 stars!