PERICLES by William Shakespeare
performed by Paul Huntley-Thomas, Andrea Molnar, Thandisile Jonas, Thando Konkqo, Monde Wani and Melissa Eveleigh.
directed and designed by Luke Dixon.
The ancestors are restless. From the shadows of the past a storyteller comes. He tells of magic and romance; of sudden death and unexpected life; of gods and magic; of tenderness and debauchery; above all, a tale of love and reconciliation. This is Pericles. It is an old story, simply told.
Pericles, one of Shakespeare’s least known plays, is the first of the great cycle of romances with which ended his career. The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest followed soon after. Driven into exile in fear of his life, Pericles finds love and marriage only to lose both his wife and daughter in a storm at sea. The play tells the interwoven stories of Pericles (Prince of a town in what is now Lebanon), his wife Thais and their daughter Marina, as they become separated and wander from country to country seeking refuge and asylum. It is only at the close of the play, after enduring much suffering, that all three are reunited.
This production of 'Pericles' was the result of a two week workshop project during which performers from Europe and Africa came together in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, to explore approaches to the performance of Shakespeare.
The play was performed at the 6th Triennial Congress of the Shakespeare Society of Southern Africa and as part of the National Arts Centre in Grahamstown in English but with some Xhosa translation.
The production was revived as part of a residency at London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in September 2004. The residency also included workshops with student nurses on loss and bereavement, and with immigrant support staff at the hospital on displacement. The revived production was subsequently seen at the Dover Roundhouse and, as part of the Canterbury Festival, at the Theatre Royal Margate. Paul Huntley-Thomas, Victoria Gillmon, Jim Derek, Lisa Payne, Mat Spray and Kitty Myers performed the revival.