Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I think I've mentioned before there are some shows that are a chore to work on and there are others that are a delight. Pericles is in the latter case and makes up for the nights of angst I had to endure on my last season in the Drama Theatre.

This Shakespearean play performed by the Bell Shakespeare Company is big, loud, melodramatic and as convoluted as a soap opera.

It has a lot of energy and is obviously fun for the cast. There's drumming and singing and dancing and a big Bollywood style scene that only needs a shower of rose petals to finish it off.

The reviews have been varied because it's not the type of play that can be rationally analysed - the plot-twists and coincidences are worthy of any modern day melodrama and the actors are sometimes required to switch from serious, heart-wrenching soliloquies to mundane and seemingly trivial statements - all in the same breath.

The one scene that stands out for me is at the end when poor old King Pericles, after enduring countless shipwrecks (that man should not get in a boat), the loss of his beloved wife and then his daughter, finds them again. He has aged 20 years since his first appearance and so is required to portray a degree of pathos suitable for the occasion.

Marcus Graham does this well I think, and is a very appropriate hero for the occasion but... why is it that every single time he says these lines;

Now, blessing on thee! rise; thou art my child. Give me fresh garments; the audience cacks itself?
No matter if it's a matinee , a school audience, an evening blue-rinse set - they all spontaneously laugh.
I have a theory that it is a combination of comic relief from the seriousness of his reunification with his daughter (who is so virtuous and pure she transforms rapist to saints) and the slight embarrassment at the out of place request. Deep Drama and Emotional Outpouring interrupted with a request for his laundry. Strange.

I have been busy during this show and have created one pair of socks already - saturated colour worthy of the richly coloured hues of the lighting, costumes and sets. I think I will be able to get another pair finished before the end of the season.


Lynne said...

Sounds like fun!

Perhaps the convuluted plot is the reason it was not on HSC study lists back in "the day". I tired of King Lear two years in a row and, worse still - Romeo and Juliet twice in four years!

Lyndell said...

Hello Kate - didn't realise that you were doing the lights on Pericles :-) I worked on the costumes - and I knitted that loose knit vest thing. In fact - that is a fab photo of vest and chest ... could I copy it for my Ravelry Project please pretty please