Pericles (1958): Shakespeare Memorial Theatre
PRINCIPAL CAST: Eileen Atkins (Diana); Angela Baddeley (Bawd); Stephanie Bidmead (Thaisa); Zoe Caldwell (Antiochus' Daughter); Edric Connor (Gower); Richard Johnson (Pericles); Rachel Kempson (Dionyza); Geraldine McEwan (Marina).
"Strange terror-ridden music fills the air. A decoration, distinguished but not simple, fills the stage. All the Kings and Queens of the Double Patience pack stalk on, and hurry off. A negro artist, famed for his Calypso sings - but no Calypsos. A lot of lurching, crouching, sometimes simply listening sailors listen to him - one with his hands on his hips - naughty! A girl like a lollipop of dew and honey, with the vocal chords of a tiger-lily, fails to convince us that she is a piece of inspired casting as the daughter of a Prince of Tyre....I do not doubt that in Mr. Richardson we have a major producer in the making. But does he really feel he did a bad play a good service in distracting us from it? In spite of the brilliant decorative gifts of Mr. Loudon Sainthill, in the mounting glory of Mr. Michael Northen's lighting; in spite of the theatrical and scholarly music by Mr. Roberto Gerhard; in spite of the dogged performances of the drowned Mr. Richard Johnson (Pericles), Miss Angela Baddeley (a broad bawd), and in spite of the Misses Rachel Kempson (a classical Ice-Matron) and Geraldine McEwan (all pale sunshine and pink sugar icing with just a glug-glug-glug of gin) and Mr. Edric Connor's active but incoherent Gower, a play lay still-born before us." ~ Caryl Brahms, "Not in the Folio", Plays and Players, August 1958