Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pericles - Seattle Shakespeare Company

October 25 – November 18, 2007
Tickets and Information

As with many of William Shakespeare’s plays, Pericles begins with some rather pressing father-daughter relationship issues. When Pericles arrives to try to win the hand of Antiochus’ daughter and succeeds in defeating the riddle, he is driven from the land to escape his impending murder by Antiochus’ men. Where he finds himself and the twists and turns that ensue are to be told by the production.

Seattle Shakespeare’s production of Pericles, directed by Sheila Daniels, brings to life one of the lesser known but substantial plays of Shakespeare’s cannon. While it sometimes seems that Seattle Shakespeare’s shows can become somewhat loose, this production, much like their recent production of Comedy of Errors is as tight and precise as can be. Daniels’ exceedingly precise directing style shines in this production.

Reginald Andre Jackson, playing Pericles, is an absolute treat for the audience. His power and presence onstage are a force to be reckoned with. Carrying an immense weight upon his shoulders, Jackson hefts it along with grace and prestige. Supported by a fabulous cast including Todd Jefferson Moore (Antiochus/Simonides/Pandar), Philip Davidson (Gower/Cerimon) and Seattle Shakespeare debuts Molly Tomhave (Antiochus’ Daughter/Lychorida), James Cowan (Helicanus/Boult), Kate Czajkowski (Marina) as well as others, this production is a constant reminder of the beauty of the language in which Shakespeare wrote.

Reginald Andre Jackson as Pericles. Photo Credit Erik Stuhaug

The set design by L.B. Morse is an incredible piece of art. Fully functional in all of its accessories, the set becomes many different worlds with just the drawing of a curtain. Built into the set is a nook for cast member musicians playing the simple and yet elegant compositions of Gretta Harley who composed simple but telling music for this production. Kimberly White also plays an integral role as voice and text director. Shakespeare is all about the language and she certainly helps make it shine.

Seattle Shakespeare’s Pericles shouldn’t be missed. If there’s one ticket in Seattle showing real Shakespeare, it’s at the Center House Theater.

Review by Nigel Andrews

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