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Reviews Gate; A satisfying show - 2007: Pericles

Date Published: 25 August 2007

Pericles is not often performed; there’s incest and a brothel involved, so it’s maybe not one for the schoolroom.

Which is a shame for the rest of us because it’s an interesting tale, though it’s thought the first few scenes may not be Shakespeare’s. Several shipwrecks bedevil Pericles, in echoes of other later plays The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale, but the trials that assail him, and his thought-to-be-dead wife and daughter, finally work out.

In Siege Perilous’s adaptation Pericles gains a game-show host and the amusement of adding Portia’s three chests with the suitors drawn from Shakespeare heroes. With the narrative character of Gower retained, it sheds enough lines to loosely cover the plot in the 75 minute time slot though some may find the game-show host, caskets and the suitors, Hamlet, Macbeth and another, strays from other Shakespeare plays, amusing but confusing.

Played in an upbeat style, the lines are delivered by the cast with clarity and understanding and at a good pace. Each scene flows into the next, and good use is made of the stage with the audience on two adjacent sides and a pillar on the corner between them.

Good acting from all the cast gives a satisfying show with Danielle Farrow showing real flair and versatility in her three roles as Cerimon, Fisherwoman and a very strong Bawd. This now Edinburgh-based company intends to produce shows of both new and old plays in future. This is a very encouraging first production in their new home.

Thelma Good
Reviews Gate

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