Theatre Simpson put on a fantastic performance of William Shakespeare’s “Pericles” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The house lights dimmed as the show began with Gower, acting as a narrator throughout the performance, who set the scene for the audience.
The plot was set in the ancient Mediterranean area, the time of kings in ancient Greece, near when the Acropolis and the Parthenon were built.
Pericles was a real king who lived in ancient Greece and was heavily involved in the art and erected the Parthenon, Acropolis and Erechtheum. The only similarity between the real Pericles and the character of Pericles is their royalty.
The play follows the story of Pericles and his family as they experience heartache and loss as well as love and joy with a little touch of magic.
When the King of Antioch threatens Pericles’ life, Pericles flees and washes up on the shore of the kingdom of Pentapolis. There he falls in love with Princess Thaisa and the two are wed.
Hearing that the King of Antioch is dead, Pericles and a pregnant Thaisa leave Pentapolis to return to Tyre, where Pericles is the king. Tragically, Thaisa dies in childbirth in the midst of a terrible storm. Pericles names his daughter Marina and leaves her in the care of the king and queen of Tarsus, Cleon and Dionyza.
Marina grows up and, through several turns of events such as attempted murder and being sold to a brothel, she is reunited with Pericles, who believed her to be dead.
Meanwhile, Thaisa’s body washed ashore in another city where she was revived through magic. When Pericles and Marina go to the Temple of Diana, as instructed in a dream, they find Thaisa and their family is whole again.
To someone not fluent in Shakespeare, the play, though enjoyable, was slightly difficult of understand. The general plot was adequately conveyed but overall dialogue was very confusing.
The sets were simple, with each containing little more than a table, chair and backdrop. Despite its minimalism, one could still differentiate between settings.
The lighting was excellent, focusing the audience’s eyes only on the action. Especially notable was the lighting during the scene on the boat. It was dark and eerie, foreshadowing the tragic events coming up, but also had excellent effects for the lighting of the storm.
The most impactful part of the show was the overall message conveyed. Every character and every place was connected somehow. Everyone’s lives are connected and no one is alone in this thing we call life.