Shakespeare at the seaside! Pericles sets sail with York Shakespeare Project

Nick Jones as Simonides and Andrew Isherwood as Pericles. Photograph: John Saunders
21 Mar 2016 @ 3.32 pm
| Community news, Entertainment
Nick Jones as Simonides and Andrew Isherwood as Pericles. Photograph: John Saunders
Nick Jones as Simonides and Andrew Isherwood as Pericles. Photograph: John Saunders

York Shakespeare Project have revealed details of their latest production – with the final performance on 23rd April being the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Sophie Paterson will direct their upcoming production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, the company’s 29th play.

Sophie holds a BFA in theatre/original Works from Cornish College of the Arts, USA, and is currently studying towards an MA in Writing, Directing and Performance at the Department of Theatre, Film & Television at the University of York.

She has previously directed Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night, alongside a wide range of works both old and new.

Seaside setting

Sophie has decided to set her version of Pericles in a seaside pub, complete with rousing sea-shanties and plenty of beer!

She said: “The audience will enter an 18th century pub, full of the warmth of hearth-light, with the regulars singing and socialising.

“This is a place where friends and strangers, family old and new, are welcome.

“Outside, the wind howls, rain and sea-mist spattering against the windows. As people take their seats, a voice rings out in the darkness.

“A limping sailor rests against his table, and sings us an old shanty of loss at sea. His community rallies around him, joining his song. From then on, the story of Pericles begins.”

Love and storms

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

Upstage Theatre, 41 Monkgate, York, YO31 7PB

Tuesday 19th April – Saturday 23rd April 2016 at 7pm, Sat 2pm matinee

£12/£10. £5 students

Tickets here or on the door

Pericles tells the story of a Prince on the seas. He travels to many lands, meets the love of his life Thaisa, loses her in a storm, and returns home leaving his daughter, Marina, with trusted friends.

However, she is then betrayed, kidnapped by pirates, and sold into prostitution. She manages to escape through rhetoric, gaining a position of respect in Mytilene, until one day Pericles, believing both his wife and daughter to be dead, lands on their shores…

Sophie has chosen a cast of nine to tell this adventurous story. The title role of Pericles will be played by Andrew Isherwood, recently seen in York Theatre Royal’s In Fog and Falling Snow, he last performed for York Shakespeare Project in All’s Well That Ends Well in November 2014.

His daughter Marina and wife Thaisa will be played by Emily Thane and Claire Morley, who appeared in YSP’s recent all-female Henry V as Fluellen and Henry.

The cast is completed by Nick Jones as Simonides, Rory Oliver as Boult, Jimmy Johnson as Lysimachus, Bertie Ford as Cleon, Carrie Morrison as Dionyza, and George Stagnell as Helicanus. Other parts will be played by the company.

York play of the year

Sophie and the cast are joined by assistant director Buffy Watling, musical director John Robin Morgan, costume designer Amy Rhianne Milton, stage manager Emily Humphrys and ASMs Margarita Mazurova and Alex Wallis.

York Shakespeare Project was established in 2001, and is committed to performing all of Shakespeare’s known plays in York over a period of 20 years.

Their last production Henry V was their first all-female production, coinciding with the 600th anniversary of The Battle of Agincourt, and was named ‘York Play of the Year’ by Charles Hutchinson, York Press.

They have also recently enjoyed sell-out shows of Othello and Twelfth Night at York Theatre Royal.