PERICLES Prince of Tyre

Hamilton Gardens, The Beach, Hamilton

20/02/2019 - 24/02/2019

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2019

Production Details

Love, death, magic and many a tempestuous storm.  

Slip of the Tongue presents, Pericles Prince of Tyre by William Shakespeare and George Wilkins. A fairy tale filled with romance, an adventure story, a tale where good triumphs somewhat mysteriously over evil.

In this rarely performed piece by the bard, a group of wanton wandering players bring to life a colourful world where the miraculous can still occur; our hero Pericles encounters love, death, magic and braves many a tempestuous storm.

Come along! Bring the family! Come alone! Bring a picnic! Eat at home! But do come and join us by the river for an entertaining evening of outdoor theatre… accompanied by rather delicious live music in the form of a wee band.

The Beach
Wednesday 20 – Friday 22 Feb 2019, 7.30pm
Sunday 24 Feb, 4am
Admission: By Donation 

Theatre ,

Another triumph

Review by Gail Pittaway 22nd Feb 2019

For twenty years of my attendance and possibly longer for others, the Shakespeare play in the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival has been the heart of the festival for me; bringing people together for fun and art, loose about seating and eating, haphazard about collecting koha from the audience, usually in the chaotic darkness of packing up our picnics and stumbling to our transport.

The play is always the thing. While the festival itself has grown in stature and structure, it’s wonderful that this historic and vibrant tradition continues, with this hilarious production of one of Shakespeare’s more challenging plays. It is so unusual that there is even considerable doubt about his penmanship – but, hey, there’s a load of shipwrecks, exotic locations, women missing presumed drowned or dead, tyrants to rival Game of Thrones and an ever-increasing number of characters introduced almost to the end. Fights, love at first sight, music, jealousy, rage: Titus Andronicus – eat your heart out. 

Slip o’ the Tongue company has been a home and launching place for many young and older actors and directors in our community and it’s always great to see the loyalty it attracts, from audiences and cast members alike. One such associate is this production’s director Pip Smith, who directs a tight production, with a focus on comedy and accessibility of script and story. She has a cast of mostly young players who are well drilled to keep the energy and plot running and deliver the most perfectly audible lines in the outdoor setting with no lapses at all.

Most of the cast operate as several characters and the production delivers up some unscripted cross-dressings, quirky costuming and a funky band playing sweet tunes. As it’s open air theatre and there are no programmes, it seems fairest to mention the characters rather than the actors as not all are known.  Stand out moments are given by Gower the chorus; Pericles, who throws himself into the water for his art; Marina’s fine singing; Cleon and Dionyza’s wicked step-parent routine; Thaisa’s simpering eyes; the brothel keeper, bawd and deliciously creepy servant Boult – and the wonderful contesting knights for a great comedy fight routine. But truly it is a dream ensemble and not one player is weak.  

Stretched along a sandy bank and shoal of the Waikato, the setting is not easy, especially as night falls and with it some much needed rain. Pip Smith interrupts the play at the penultimate scene to ask the audience if we’re okay to go on in the rain. The response is a roar of assent. We wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Well done and congratulations to Slip o’ the Tongue for another triumph.


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