Adventure Road Trip Through the Mediterranean with “Pericles”

2014-08-06_10-19-12A wandering king looking for love and family, a jousting tournament for a princess’ hand, Greek dances, bold assassins, goofy pirates, and a visit to a down on its luck brothel with a dash of divine intervention punctuate Hudson Shakespeare Comapany’s production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, by William Shakespeare and George Wilkins. The final installment in their 23rd season of traveling Shakespeare in the parks program directed by Noelle Fair and will be performing at:

 Tuesday, August 19th @ 7:30pm

Monument Park, Fort Lee, NJ (No Rain Location)

1588 Palisade Avenue


Shakespeare’s great adventure story is about the King of Tyre who travels to exotic lands in search of a bride and the unexpected turns of fate which steers his life in remarkable ways. “Pericles” is full of exotic locales and provides a visual feast for the audience as we sail from coast to coast meeting an eclectic cast of characters.  Pericles is full of murder plots, jousting knights, belly dancing, magic, love, loss, hope – and – most of all – PIRATES!

According to director, Noelle Fair, this quote from the show perfectly encapsulates her vision take on the show:

“And what ensues in this fell storm

Shall for itself itself perform.

I will relate, action may Conveniently the rest convey;

Which might not what by me is told.

In your imagination hold. . . .” (Gower, Act 2, v)”

Fair adds, “One could choose to let these speeches serve as they are, but we thought it would be more fun to tell you, AND show you, said Noelle Fair, the director of the production. “We’re using music and physical storytelling to help the audience along the way.  We create shipwrecks and other magical feats by using simple elements like wooden dowels, pretty umbrellas, blue scraps of fabric and variety of international music. I’m hoping to deepen certain character moments, elaborate on other points within the story, and to also display the depth of these events and show how integral they are to the pay off at the end.”

 About the play:

Written in 1607-8, “Pericles, the Prince of Tyre”, marked a departure for Shakespeare. After several years of writing the great tragedies like “Macbeth” and “King Lear”, he dabbled in a new style of mixing comedy and tragedy together, usually with a mix of divine intervention and a journey that would dominate the rest of his writing career. The new style has come to be known as his “Romances” of which “The Tempest” is a part.

“Pericles” holds two distinctions that set it apart from other Shakespeare plays. First it was not originally published in the collection of his works known as the First Folio. For years it was a disputed work but was finally accepted into his cannon of accepted work. Secondly, it was written in collaboration with another writer named Geoge Wilkens, who moonlighted as a brothel owner. This fact, obviously, adds a level of authenticity to the brothel scenes late in the play. Published in 1609 in a cheap volume known as a “quarto”, the text  was cobbled together from recollections of actors who had appeared in productions, leading to a difficult text to work from. This is perhaps one of the reasons it was left out of the First Folio.

The play is free to the public and family friendly. Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets as seating is limited in most venues and coolers to enjoy the festival atmosphere. For more information, or call 973 449-7443.

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