The Porters of Hellsgate Present “The Two Noble Kinsmen”

The Porters of Hellsgate Present “The Two Noble Kinsmen.”
Written by William Shakespeare.

The Whitemore Lindley Theatre, 11006 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, 91601

This production marks the 29th of Shakespeare’s canon in The Porters of Hellsgate’s long journey through the entirety of Shakespeares works. 

They only have a handful of plays left and this particular one, “The Two Noble Kinsmen,” is one not often performed.

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Basically, it’s a tragicomedy, not uncommon for Shakespeare of course.  The plot is based on one of the stories in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” the “Knight’s Tale,” which is pretty standard fare in every English schoolroom.  So, since I remember my Chaucer, although I was completely unfamiliar with this play, I totally ‘got it.’  It is brothers pitted against each other, it is long-held grudges and bitter rivalries, it is battles and their aftermath and arranged marriages and heartbreak and torment and loss and rebirths and twists and turns. Oh yes, it is very, very Shakespearean indeed.

I adore The Porters of Hellsgate and not just for the sheer nerve of this monumental undertaking but for how deeply committed they are to each and every second of each and every play they produce.  This could have been a throwaway.  They could have had some fun and ticked it off their list and moved quickly on to the “big” plays. But they absolutely did not.  They instead give this smaller and far less well known of the Bard’s plays their undeniable and indisputable best.

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They fight the fights and fling the pentameters. They lean into the lusty lesbianisms and proudly display the sad parallels with our present world and the ageless, burdensome pressures for the wronged to be righted.  They weave the world created by these beautiful words so well we forget where we are.

We forget we are in this small dark theatre, somewhere in North Hollywood and instead we are swept up by the humor and the headache and the thrills of revenge.

Everyone is brilliant as usual and it’s worth noting that I have grown so used to their excellence in everything they do that I tend to forget just how good they are until I see another companies production that is…

We are so very lucky to have in our midst a company of players so hell-bent on educating us in the best possible way on the genius of Shakespeare.  Thank you, Porters of Hellsgate. I again salute you!!!

Directed by Will Block.

Jono Eiland and Tim Oakes will play the roles of the titular kinsmen; filling out the ensemble are Tina Van Berckelaer, Michael Bigley, Sean Faye, Katie Hotchkiss, Cameron Kauffman, Gus Krieger, Nicole Ledoux, Marie Osterman, Ian Runge, Rachel Seiferth and Jesse James Thomas.

Running July 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th, August 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th at 8pm. July 21st, 28th, August 4th, 11th at 2pm.

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.