Pericles is one of Shakespeare’s plays I haven’t read so Hunger & Thirst Theatre (with The Guerilla Shakespeare Project) presentation Pericles: Born in a Tempest was ideal storytelling for me. A play within a play, Pericles is stripped to the essentials with a reimagining of a seafarer’s adventure. Upon returning to the home of her late father on a stormy night, a young mother, her husband and friends, stumble upon a diary. Her father, John Gower writes the story of Pericles. Jacques Roy’s portrayal of both characters are skillful and stellar as he steps into the lives of both men. The journal of his life and times including meeting his beloved Thaisa and the birth of Marina during a tempest. As his story unfolds, Marina shares her own story of life beyond Tarsus where her father leaves her. In typical fairy tale fashion, the beautiful fair maiden, played innocently by Patricia Lynn, goes through trials and tribulations until meeting her true love (played by the dashing Jordan Kaplan).
A production like this needs a strong ensemble who trust each other. Kathryn Metzer, Jordan Kaplan and Tom Schwans create memorable characters, flawlessly flowing easily into and out of each other. However Jordan Reeves’ concept and direction, along with the design team, was thoughtful, creative and respectful of the space. The angled flats create a room, a ship, a brothel, and a home under the 3 story dome of this space. Together, all the elements of the production (sound, projection, lighting, costumes) created a subtext that allowed the story to unfold. This was a well-crafted production with talented cast to support it.
The performance schedule is Thursday at 7 PM; Friday & Saturday at 8 PM; Sunday at 2 PM. There are added performances on Wednesday, November 15 at 7 PM and Saturday, November 18 at 2 PM. Performances are at The West End Theatre (263 West 86th Street, between West End Avenue and Broadway; 1 train to 86th Street). Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. For tickets and more information, visit www.hungerandthirsttheatre.com.