EXPERIENCING PERICLES. We got to see Trevor Nunn’s production of Pericles. It was a wonderful production. There are those who say that the reason Pericles is rarely performed today is that the romance form is uncongenial to modern audiences. Yet our audience was completely absorbed in the play from the first moments to the end.

The reviews were mixed, and some reviewers were happy to display their dislike for the play. This review by Frank Scheck in The Hollywood Reporter begins :”It’s been over 400 years now. Is it OK to stop pretending we care about Pericles, Prince of Tyre?” Scheck’s review gives as “the bottom line”: “This ponderous take on one of the Bard’s lesser efforts fails to enchant.” I read this line to Mary Jane and she commented that there were a lot of enchanted people in the audience, including us.

This entry was posted in Literature, Shakespeare, Theater. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. David Gontar says:

    Philip, perhaps our contemporaries would rather not encounter art which takes an unflinching look at incest. We would rather rise above the subject and look down our monocled noses at Shakespeare. Many of these folks are nonetheless titillated by incest and pursue it in real time or via pornography. These people are not bored with Shakespeare; they fear him and many aspects of life. They are poseurs. Prince Pericles is haunted by incest, pursued by it wherever he wanders. He is drawn to Antiochus and repeats his experiences with the Daughter over and over. He narrowly escapes sex with his own child at the play’s end, and by that time Marina has a rich education in life. For most sophisticated minds today one succeeds with the text by mastering it, and that means to criticize it, drawing its fangs in our petit bourgeois
    disdain. All that is patent bad faith.

    You might enjoy my article in the March issue online of New English Review on the 1571 Treason Act of Parliament.

    If you like, you can write me at davidgontar2@aol.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.