REVIEW: Pericles: Prince of Tyre at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth


Thursday, 6th April 2017, 9:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:01 pm
The cast of Pericles in rehearsal. From left: Charlotte Thompson playing the part of Marina, Faye Williams playing Thaisa and Mike Jupp playing Pericles. Picture: Sarah Standing (170452-5021)

And it shows.

It’s a very un-Shakespearean piece, presented here by the Southsea Shakespeare Actors in the atmospheric setting of the Square Tower. Devices largely shunned by the Bard in his other works are here front-and-centre - dumb-show; off-stage action described by a narrator – and directors Nick Downes and Vincent Adams are creative with the unpromising text, but I suspect it would take actors of considerable experience to bring it convincingly to life.

Mike Jupp (Pericles) is too measured and needs to take a few more risks with his delivery of the text. Rob Bartlett and Sarah Parnell make the most of the baddies – to be expected with their joint experience! Charlotte Thompson makes a fine Marina and David Pearson as Lysimachus, of the younger cast members, has the greatest measure of the verse. As Gower, the chorus, Andy Thomas excels.

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The play comes alive, though, in the hands of the supporting cast.

When Marina is kidnapped by pirates and sent to work in a brothel, Lauren Farnhill as the Bawd and Lee Ruttle as her servant, Boult, just about steal the play from under the rest of the cast’s collective nose.

Until Saturday.