Bard delivers epic tale
Review by Max D’Ambrosio
Bard on the Beach makes a proper epic production out of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, a Shakespearean fairy tale that traverses the ancient world, complete with royal family intrigue, stormy seas, elaborate revelry, and classical romance. It’s old-fashioned fun given new life by some entertaining creative liberties, and modern players at the top of their game.
A sorcerous healer, Cerimon (David Warburton) narrates a new framing device for the age-old tale of Pericles (Kamyar Pazandeh) and his lost daughter Marina (Luisa Jojic).
The characters in Cerimon’s story-within-a-story are clad mostly in white, with powdered skin. They often move as though they were marionettes manipulated by the mystical storyteller. Their performance style bears a strong resemblance to butoh, a form of Japanese dance, but the core of each scene is in a style of blocking and delivery that’s far more conventional for the material.
Some segments are also presented through song, notably a romantic moment between Pericles and his wife Thaisa (Sereana Malani). Overall, there is a pleasing balance between innovation and tradition.
This clever presentation combines the playful, engaging set (Amir Ofek) and sumptuous costumes (Carmen Alatorre) to create an experience that thoroughly transports the audience.
The Bottom Line
This Pericles is adorned with all manner of stage magic and theatrical tricks of the trade. Its archetypal narrative and adventurous spirit come through clearly in every fine detail, and are sure to delight both young and old.
Bard on the Beach, Vanier Park
To September 21
in repertory with Othello
BARD ON THE BEACH 2016 SEASON
Cast: Ian Butcher, Kayla Deorksen, Jeff Gladstone, Luisa Jojic, Kayvon Kelly, Sereana Malani, Kamyar Pazandeh, Luc Roderique, David Warburton.
Production: Lois Anderson – Director, Carmen Alatorre – Costume Designer, Amir Ofek – Scenic Design, John Webber – Lighting Designer, Malcolm Dow – Composer/Sound Designer, Wendy Gorling – Movement Collaborator, Alison Matthews – Head Voice & Text Coach, Nicholas Harrison – Fight Director, Joanne P.B. Smith – Production Stage Manager, Ruth Bruhn – Assistant Stage Manager, Jennifer Stewart – Apprentice Stage Manager, Brennan Campbell – Directing Apprentice.