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Evan Buliung (centre) stars as Pericles in The Adventures of Pericles.

David Hou

3 out of 4 stars

Title
The Adventures of Pericles
Written by
William Shakespeare
Directed by
Barry Avrich, Scott Wentworth
Starring
David Hay, Marion Adler, Wayne Guest
Genre
Drama
Classification
PG
Country
Canada
Language
English
Year
2016

It's estimated only half this awkward, episodic play was actually written by Shakespeare, but Stratford's smart production turns a sow's ear into a silk purse. Director Scott Wentworth has an intriguing concept for unifying the piece and is blessed with a strong ensemble costumed in elegant 19th-century garb, and lead by a sympathetic Evan Buliung playing the globe-trotting Prince of Tyre. A winning performance from Deborah Hay, cast as both the Prince's wife and his long-lost daughter, ties together the action, which ranges from Jacobean tragedy to Elizabethan bawdry before the late-romantic Shakespeare asserts himself with various resurrections and reunions that actually prove quite moving. In this film version, directed by Barry Avrich, the close-ups bolster the actors' fine work, although some theatrical devices, such as a model ship paraded around to mark sea voyages, don't translate well. – Kate Taylor

The Adventures of Pericles screens at participating Cineplex theatres May 7 and 12.

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