Tim wanted N. to experience The Comedy of Errors without any preconceptions so he deliberately did not give him any preparation other than to tell him that it involved two sets of twins. I can't say I agreed with this approach; I would have read N. Charles and Mary Lamb's retelling of the plot, at the very least. But Tim was sure that N. would get the basic gist of this relatively simple play and he wasn't wrong. Still, our opinions of the value of Shakespearean retellings differ. Tim thinks that a student should read the original Shakespearean text and only the original (putting aside the vexed question of which text counts as the original in the case of some plays!), and not until she is ready to really engage with its complexity (he has resisted reading Shakespeare with the older homeschooled children he tutors until they are into their teens). I think that the retellings can whet a child's appetite for Shakespeare and are therefore valuable. Of course they may be sometimes slightly inaccurate, and they certainly emphasize plot at the expense of other facets of the texts. Nonetheless, the long use of retellings since the early nineteenth century suggests their efficacy.
Such are the arguments of a two-literature-Ph.D.-household. Internet: buttress my cause! Tell me why you use retellings of Shakespeare with your children.
"Teach me, dear creature, how to think and speak..." --The Comedy of Errors