Pericles (1969): Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Shakespeare Theatre
PRINCIPAL CAST: Susan Fleetwood (Thaisa, Marina); Emrys James (Gower); Ian Richardson (Pericles).
"No one would have thought tht Pericles, that dream-like fairytale of a play, could have survived a production in the current Stratford-on-Avon style which likes to turn the stage into a bright-lighted gymnasium for the austere exercises of half-naked Spartans. In fact, the Royal Shakespeare Company's new revival opened this year's season with a distinct success. ~ John Barber, Daily Telegraph, 5 April 1969
"Mr. Hands goes adventuring around the Levant with a certain austerity...Pericles presented in a kind of lofty echo chamber beneath a suspended dodecahedron...Last time [1958, Edric Connor] old Gower (and I have known him in some guises) was a negro calypso singer. Now, in the person of Emrys James, he arrives reasonably as a kind of Welsh-accented bard...It is more than fortunate that Mr. Hands has at the centre of his dignified scheme, with its strange ritual quality, an actor of such strength, control, and gentleness as Ian Richardson...As always, Mr. Richardson, in tones with the clarity of an unflawed diamond, can engrave the verse upon our memories...The other major performance is that of Susan Fleetwood, who is not only Thaisa, the mother, cast ashore during the storm when Shakespeare's voice enters the play, but also Marina, the daughter, with her moving accidents by flood and field..." ~ J. C. Trewin, Birmingham Post, 3 April 1969