OK, I'm trying something a bit different today... a review! I love going to the theatre, but I've never written actual reviews of the productions I've seen. Mostly this is because I am a terrible reviewer. I'm fairly easy to please and without any of the critical discretion of more seasoned reviewers. I'm also very soft-hearted, so if I didn't enjoy a production I am more likely to pretend I never saw it in the first place rather than say anything negative about it. But let's give it a try! The guinea pig I have selected is the first show that I saw at the Stratford Festival this season.... Pericles!
Now, the gentleman I was sitting next to might just be overly full of joie de vivre, but to have someone who, at the beginning of the show asked me "is the language in this play the sort of Shakespeare language you have to translate constantly in your head?", turn around at the end and say "That was terrific, everyone should see this!" is quite a positive testimonial. Especially because this was Pericles. And, let's face it, Pericles is nowhere near one of Shakespeare's more accessible plays.
The only other time I've seen Pericles was again at the Stratford Festival, about twelve years ago. That was a decent production too, but this one was definitely cleaner, much easier to follow, and more stylistically cohesive. As I always say, I'm fairly frivolous and can get quite impatient with directorial Concepts (with a capital C) but in this case the Victorian concept definitely served the play, as opposed to being imposed upon it. I particularly enjoyed the double-casting (which I enjoy anyways, but which actively enriched the production in this case.)
I really don't need to say that the acting and the language-speaking were superb, because that's almost always the case at Stratford. Special mention to Deborah Hay, whose gigantic brimming limpid eyes in the already emotionally-fraught reunion scene managed to sneak through the chinks in my fairly robust emotional armor.
Pericles isn't performed all that often, so, if you can, take an opportunity to see this production. (If you're on the other side of the continent, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is also mounting a production this season, and so you should totally see that one and then tell me how it is.)
Kids Read Comics Convention
I've been plastering this all over social media, but forgot to re-mention it here! This week, June 20-21, is the Kids Read Comics Convention in Michigan! Specifically, it's at the Ann Arbor District Library. I will be there both Saturday and Sunday, from 12pm to 6:00pm, selling a variety of Good Tickle Brain merchandise, including t-shirts! Here's a sneak peek and some of the stuff I'll be presenting:
If you're in the Southeastern Michigan area, stop by and say hello! I'm a very nice person and would love to chat with you, so don't be shy. If you're NOT in the Southeastern Michigan area, don't worry! In a couple weeks (hopefully, tech gods and my own limited intellect permitting) I will be launching my online store and you'll be able to order shirts and other merchandise there.
Hope to see some of you there!