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Play of the week: Two Gentlemen of Verona, Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol


What if your friend fell for your girl and no enchanted flower could lift the spell? That is the premise of Shakespeare's rarely performed comedy, staged by director Andrew Hilton and Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory.

Romantic complications beset the main quartet of Valentine, Julia, Proteus and Sylvia. But it is also the work in which Shakespeare cast a dog, Crab, who even steals scenes from consummate clown Chris Donnelly.

The production never takes itself seriously, but Lisa Kay and Dorothea Myer-Bennett bring spirit to Sylvia and Julia, and Hilton finds charm in the play's portrait of love's madness.

0117 902 0344; tobaccofactorytheatre.com, to 4 May