Pericles, Prince of Tyre is a swashbuckling adventure story, complete with kings and queens, handsome princes and beautiful princesses, marauding pirates, wicked stepmothers, sleazy lowlife and mysterious wizards; it offers shipwreck, plague, kidnap, murder, hope and despair, love and loss. The fast-moving narrative whisked us around the Mediterranean Sea, to Tyre, Tarsus, Antioch, Ephesus, Mytilene and Pentapolis, exotic locations rich with romantic connotations. We visited ships, palaces, seashores, and a brothel. It is a tale such as old sailors traditionally told, one that would not be out of place alongside those of Sinbad, Aladdin and Ali Baba in the Arabian Nights. Which is why we set it in the magical world of Middle Eastern storytelling, where the content hovered in that tantalising zone between reality and fantasy.
Pericles, Prince of Tyre is one of Shakespeare's four late 'romances', all of which span a whole generation, allowing him in each case to show us a complete cycle of life. The central characters of The Tempest, Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale all find happiness after many years of pain, providing us with Shakespeare's most memorable and moving final acts. And Pericles has arguably the best ending of them all!