Pericles part of Bard’s 27th season
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 27th season with the opening of Pericles on the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre Tent. Directed by Lois Anderson, this fast-paced, thrilling tale set in an ancient mythical world follows a prince’s arduous quest to find love and the meaning of life. Pericles runs from July 2 to September 18.
THE STORY: In an ancient time in Ephesus, the healer Cerimon (David Warburton) creates medicines in a ruined Temple of Diana for an ailing foreign king named Pericles (Kamyar Pazandeh). A madam (Kayla Deorksen) and pimp from the local brothel arrive with a young girl; Cerimon has purchased her services to help him prepare healing potions. Cerimon explains to his new apprentice that Pericles is sick with grief, and then launches into the full story of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Fifteen years earlier: Pericles had sailed to Antioch to solve a riddle and marry a princess. He discovers the riddle’s answer, but the knowledge of this dark secret places his life in danger. He escapes by sea and flees to a drought-stricken land, Tharsus. Unable to return home to Tyre, he asks his trusted advisor Helicanus (Luc Roderique) to go and serve as governor in his stead. Sailing on, Pericles is shipwrecked and washes ashore in Pentapolis, where he competes in a royal joust for the hand of a princess. Victorious, he feasts with her father, King Simonides (Ian Butcher), and he and the princess, Thaisa (Sereana Malani), fall in love. They marry, and soon she is pregnant. Helicanus then sends word from Tyre that it’s now safe for Pericles to come home to rule, so Pericles and Thaisa set sail for Tyre. A storm breaks out and Thaisa goes into labour; a daughter is born but Thaisa dies in childbirth. Devastated, Pericles casts her body into the sea and takes refuge at the nearby port of Tharsus, where he once delivered grain. There, he leaves his newborn baby daughter Marina (Luisa Jojic) in the care of Governor Cleon and his wife, Dionyza (Jeff Gladstone). As she ages, Marina’s beauty sparks the jealous ire of Dionyza, who orders the servant Leonine (Kayvon Kelly) to murder her. But before he can kill Marina, pirates seize her and carry her away by sea. Time passes, and Marina is ultimately sold to a brothel, but she manages to maintain her purity; clients are swayed by her goodness and forsake their bawdy ways, including Governor Lysimachus. Now the story returns to the temple, where Cerimon concludes the tale of Pericles and the story’s final, unexpected events unfold.
Director Lois Anderson sets the stage for Pericles by drawing on a myriad of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultural references. Scenery Designer Amir Ofek creates the effect of an ancient archeological site and temple ruins. Costume Designer Carmen Alatorre’s designs evoke a mythical world and another time, using specific colours and patterned prints to represent different kingdoms and characters. Sound Designer and Composer Malcolm Dow conjures up a fantastical land with his exotic rhythms and harmonic textures. Fight Director Nicholas Harrison oversees the onstage battles, while Movement Collaborator Wendy Gorling collaborates with Anderson to create fluid transitions between the past and present, enhanced by Lighting Designer John Webber. Props are designed by Heidi Wilkinson; Brennan Campbell is Apprentice Director.
Bard on the Beach, Vanier Park
To September 21
in repertory with OthelloPurchase tickets
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