Pericles, Prince of Tyre, Norwich

Director David Lambert has courage and taste: the courage to adapt and in some degree reorganise Shakespeare's notoriously unreliable text of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, and the taste to remain loyal to the basic concept of romance, with switches of mood that drag our emotions in every direction until all is happily resolved.

By CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Director David Lambert has courage and taste: the courage to adapt and in some degree reorganise Shakespeare's notoriously unreliable text of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, and the taste to remain loyal to the basic concept of romance, with switches of mood that drag our emotions in every direction until all is happily resolved.

He also takes the role of John Gower, the ancient poet garbed as a monk and with a voice of authority, who acts as chorus to this tale that is unlikely and surprising.

Simple staging at the Theatre Royal Studio in Norwich lets the action flow, a couple of pillars are enough to create a sense of the ancient world, and music conjures up mystery with the solemn tones of sackbutts.

Peter Stickney makes a dignified Pericles, and the impression that nothing ever remains quite as it seems to him is reflected in the doubling of roles.

Princess and wife in one scene, a priestess of Diana in another, Abbe Swain takes on quite a different character in Myteline in a transformation that is both persuasive and provocative.