2012/13 season > Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Action, adventure, emotion and awe…Expect that and more when Mark Wing-Davey brings a nimble take on Shakespeare to Berkeley Rep. The Obie Award-winning director served up such diverse works as Mad Forest, The Beaux’ Stratagem and 36 Views. Now he delivers a riveting look at Pericles, Prince of Tyre. A virtuous man clings to the mast of a storm-tossed ship as his family reels from palace to brothel to a sacred Greek temple. Knights and pirates, villains and kings…Discover the excitement of Shakespeare all over again in Pericles. We promise: despite the tides of fate, the good guys are “led on by heaven and crown’d with joy at last.”
Please note: Pericles includes a haze effect, and incense is burned on stage. If you have questions about the show’s content, please contact the box office.
See what critics say about Mark Wing-Davey’s visionary new production.
“It’s a picaresque romp full of multiethnic humor, close calls and sentimentality, with a veritable deus ex machina—the old hoist carrying a goddess—and one of the most joyous, bounciest sex scenes ever staged…Inventive director Mark Wing-Davey throws so many ideas at the old play—in performance styles, musical interventions, pop culture references, actors wearing paper plates for masks—that at times it seems like a cartoon or even a lampoon. But when all the trials and tribulations get resolved in the long-expected happy ending, don’t be surprised if you feel tears well up in your eyes…They succeed in showing why Pericles was the biggest hit of 1608 and has regained so much popularity in recent decades…It works…The cast brings it to life, headed by Anita Carey…and David Barlow as an engagingly noble, kind and dangerously innocent Pericles…Jessica Kitchens is a radiant delight as a blithely evil queen, with a drunk scene out of 1940s Hollywood, and Pericles’ girlishly earthy true love Thaïsa. James Carpenter shines—literally, in a Gustav Klimt-like reflective robe—as one evil king and again as Thaïsa’s hearty royal father. Annapurna Sriram is a feisty, earnest Marina and the long-lost daughter, and is captivating in other roles…A shape-shifting Rami Margron, sharp Evan Zes and James Patrick Nelson fill out a wild variety of parts—including a pirate crew, brothel and tournament full of knights—aided by the extra heads and eclecticism of Meg Neville’s imaginative costumes.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Insanely inventive…A rough and tumble theatrical playground where anything goes. Starting with an interactive sing-along and chockablock with pop culture references from Batman to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this is a wild and woolly Bard mashup…Certainly, Wing-Davey—the Obie-winning director (36 Views, Angels in America)—lives up to his reputation for being insanely inventive…He’s overstuffed the epic with cheeky allusions and bravura bits of stagecraft…Make no mistake, there are many lovely moments…When Pericles changes his baby’s diaper and hands her over to another’s care or when Dionyza (Jessica Kitchens), ruler of Tarsus, bemoans the starvation of her people, the intimacy of the piece hits home. Suddenly it’s clear that Pericles’ fantastical journey is a metaphor for all of our lives, the way we each brave the elements of loss, aging and death.”—San Jose Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
“Captivating…This production has some dazzle and some heft and definitely some humor…The actors hurtle through the various episodes with verve. They bring a zesty humor to the proceedings, which range from the truly lovely…to the ribald…to the just plain goofy.”—Theater Dogs
“Innovative British director Mark Wing-Davey first burst upon the local scene with his electrifying version of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest at the Rep in 1992, then staged ACT’s long-running production of Angels in America.”—San Francisco Examiner
“Mr. Wing-Davey combines the instincts of the painter with those of the photojournalist.”—New York Times