The play emerged as an episodic pageant of adventures. As the scene shifted from city to city in the Pericles world, Leslie Hurry’s brilliant costumes, like colored illustrations in a storybook, created an imaginary era and geography in which each place was identified and distinguished by memorable eccentricities of color and design. Gabriel Charpentier’s musical score, disturbing and appealing, hung noises in the air and snatched them away, sprinkled a pattern of sound across a scene, stirred a memory or started a fantasy. Within this exotic framework, Mr. Gascon’s presentation was blessedly straightforward and unpretentious … Faced with the apparent naiveté of he play, Mr. Gascon kept his head and, if he has didactic impulses, restrained them. His direction showed an unflagging concern for the well-being of the work in his charge, and he accomplished the supreme task of staging it superbly and at the same time leaving it on its own … Nicholas Pennell seemed exactly right as Pericles … He was a muted protagonist, a man more remarkable for what happened to him than for what he was. Mr. Pennell gave him a memorable physical presence … He did the text the honor of speaking it with clarity and emotional honesty, and by the sincerity of his playing he preserved the unique character of the role … Pamela Brook made [Marinas] innocence a power of the mind, and her chastity an assertion of the spirit’s right to independence … Tony van Bridge as Simonides was affable and avuncular but with enough of the tyrant in his matchmaking to suggest that it was just as well that his daughter s choice coincided with his own. As Thaisa, Martha Henry made the moment of that choice electric with her awakening to the power of physical attraction.
KeywordsFestival Director Physical Attraction Family Disaster Edmonton Journal Theatre Festival
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