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|Friday, 22 April 2005 06:15|
Pericles at the California Shakespeare Theatre, 2008.
This fanciful, rambling play, about the misadventures of a royal wanderer (nothing to do with the celebrated Athenian politician), greatly appealed to Shakespeare's original audiences, to the indignation of his friend and rival Ben Jonson. Not included in the First Folio, its questionable authorship and erratic plot (2.4.1, 2.4.2) ensured its neglect, but its unfamiliarity and eccentricity excite modern audiences, who revel in the Levantine exoticism of its settings and the alternating perversity and charm of the father/daughter relationships (7.1.25, 7.1.26, 7.1.27, 7.1.28, 7.1.29). Its heroines, Thaisa and her charming daughter Marina, are very endearing while they cope with extraordinary misfortunes, and all ends happily, except for the villains. Shakespeare would have known the tomb of its Chorus, the poet Gower, in what is now Southwark Cathedral, near the Globe Theatre. HMR
The poet John Gower as Chorus in Pericles.
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Pericles at the Greek Theater, UC Berkeley, 1982.
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