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.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
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One Response to Pericles

  1. keithhpotter says:

    Well, I cannot disagree with anything Cathy said, except perhaps the “quick reading” comment – we took three hours to do it!

    And reading it ahead of time helps to keep things straight, particularly in a production with the same actors playing multiple versions of a role: king, daughter, whatever.

    The actors were great, the production fun and Pericles actually seemed human, albeit one who was happy to keep abandoning his daughter.

    We have seen Pericles three times. The first one I only remember for the tree they played in front of and the moonlight on the lake. The second one I do not remember at all. Perhaps third time’s a charm.

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