At the end of our second week of Pericles rehearsals, I sat down with our Pericles, Jack Hayes, and we chatted about how the play is beginning to come together. We both agreed that the geography of Pericles has been very central to our rehearsal process to far. Here’s what he had to say!
Candace: Could you tell me a little bit about how the second week of Pericles rehearsals have gone?
Jack: They’re going very well! The play is very geographically complex, there’s lots of different spots we’re travelling to and from, so we’ve been breaking it up by which country we’re in in each scene, which has been very helpful for the cast and creative team to start to get their hooks into the material. It also helps me personally because I have to go though each place as Pericles, so dividing it this way allows me to figure out ‘What am I taking from this place as an actor’, ‘What is Pericles taking from this place?’, ‘What’s different about these places?’. It’s been very helpful to find the themes within each place, and the instances where different characters respond to similar situations quite differently.
Candace: Do you have a favourite place?
Jack: Tarsus, (and this is my grim side), because I got to watch our choreographer / movement coach Nicole work on the famine that Tarsus is gripped by. Watching her create the shape of it in the outdoor space, and then integrate it with the text which had been worked on in a separate area and seeing how that all came together was really cool. And then… I just really love Pentapolis because it’s just so quirky!
As rehearsals progress, I'm excited to continue to discover the what each of these locations can bring to our production. It feels very unusual for a play to be set across six different 'countries' (so to speak), but I think Jack is right; the episodic nature of Pericles' travels is one of the strengths of the play! It allows the audience to more fully grasp the massive scale of the plot, and allows each miniature story within the play to come alive in its own unique way. Jack didn’t elaborate about Pentapolis… so you’ll have to come see the show to find out what exactly makes it so quirky!
Finally, I asked Jack to tell me a bit about what he finds challenging within this play. Check out his response in the video below!