Pericles (Perikle), Ithaca Art Centre and Sabacko pozoriste (The City of Sabac Theatre)
Presented in Serbian
June 25, 2016, first time staging Pericles in Serbia
Sabac and Cortanovci, Serbia
Director: Nikita Milivojevic
Costume Design: Jelena Stokuća
Music: Kosta Pavlović
Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary is being marked in many ways and places in Serbia. From high-school performances, TV series and screening of film adaptations, to lectures and conferences. Shakespeare’s Globe performed Two Gentlemen of Verona on 28 and 29 June (first night at the National Theatre and second in a picturesque place on the Danube (Cortanovci), a 1934 castle imitating the medieval ones in Lombardia, called “Villa Stankovic”. The latter was part of the recently established Shakespeare Festival, with a week of plays, talks and other events celebrating Shakespeare. This Festival, in co-production with the Ithaca Theatre, presented its new production of Shakespeare’s rarely staged romance Pericles. It is a comedy with elements of thriller and adventure, a fairy tale equally relating to children and to adults. When Pericles brings salvation (in form of corn sacks) to Tarsus, there starts a Neapolitan song and dance, with the actors basking in flour and making pastry, resulting in pizza that they actually share with the audience. Gower, the narrator, tells us what will follow and summarises what preceded in witty rhymes and interacts with the actors, sometimes choosing a wrong one for the given role. Like a comedy of humours, with the Tarsus royal couple elegantly mocked and Helicanus, the sage of Tyre, resting on the laurels of his old reputation, senile and pessimistic as ever, not having anything smart to say and actually do his job (advise Pericles). When Thaissa rises from the dead, in Diana’s temple, everybody faints with amazement and then they are impatient to stand up, waiting for Gower’s endless speech to finish and finally kicking him off of the stage. Marina is the torch of the whole play, bright and quick, clever and outspoken, not meek and tender like a typical Shakespearean heroine.
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This performance is also playing in Montenegro, at the Theatre City festival in Budva.