This is definitely not one of Shakespeare’s better plays: in fact there is a lot of discussion about which parts he wrote and which were written by someone else. But in summary, it is a fairly dumb play.
Ignoring that however, it was still a delightful evening at the theatre. Director Scott Wentworth made the most of what he had, and what he lacked in play, he had in abundance in actors with talent.
He and Evan Buliung made Pericles seem like a nice guy, instead of the rather pompous fool that a quick reading would suggest he is. Ignore the fact that he lost his wife and left his daughter to be raised by strangers. He found them again and all is well.
Buliung is ably supported in the cast by Wayne Best, playing tow kings, one bad and one good. Best made the most of his roles, especially when he decides to let Pericles marry his daughter.
Deborah Hay as always, was excellent as Thaisa and as Marina and the unnamed “daughter” in Antioch. It is not often you get to play mother and daughter in the same play! But Hay is flexible and the characters were quite distinct.
Bridget Wilson had fun in her role as the Bawd at Mytilene, especially sparring with Keith Dinicol as Pander and Randy Hughson as Bolt.
All in all, and in spite of it all, it was a fun production of a strange play.