Shakespeare's Globe

Helicanus played by Fergal McElherron

Pericles (2016)
Written by: William Shakespeare

Fergal returns to the Globe to play Helicanus and Pandar in Pericles.

Fergal trained at the Dublin School of Acting.

Previous work at Shakespeare’s Globe includes: Blue Stockings, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet, Helen and A Winter’s Tale.

Other theatre includes: Stroke of Luck (Park Theatre); Trelawny of the Wells (Donmar Warehouse); Guys And Dolls ( Cambridge Arts Theatre); The Playboy of The Western World (Druid Theatre Company, US Tour); The Recruiting Officer, Iphigenia At Aulis, Savoy (Abbey Theatre); Days Of Wine And Roses (Lyric Theatre, Belfast); Peer Gynt, Don Carlos, Olga, The Taming Of The Shrew (Rough Magic Theatre Company); A Whistle In The Dark (Manchester Royal Exchange/Tricycle); How Many Miles To Babylon (Second Age); Dublin By Lamplight (Corn Exchange); Trainspotting (Common Currency); Mojo Mickybo (Kabosh) and Candide (Performance Corporation).

Film includes: Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur, The Truth Commissioner, X-Moor, The Anarchic Hand Affair, Holy Cross, Omagh, H3 and The Secret Of Roan Inish.

Television includes: This is England ’90, Charlie, The Clinic and Eureka Street.

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Performances 2

"Helicanus take the initiative not to flatter: at the top when the lads are being all like, 'Ooooh', I come in saying, 'Stop flattering him'. That's the moment that separates me."

In his fourth interview, Fergal talks about the various roles he plays in this production, from the honest Helicanus to the pandering Pandar, and being able to adlib.

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Performances 1

"Just wee things that click and audience's reaction to something or spotting something. There was one night recently when Pericles is reunited with everyone and he goes, 'Oh, oh, oh here's our daughter'. There was a girl in the audience and she nearly did a backflip!"

In his third interview, Fergal talks about performing before a live audience, how this informs his characterisation, and how he has (almost) perfected the art of walking in a pitch black theatre!

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Rehearsals 2

"The intimacy of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is something that I'm really looking forward to. In the past a lot of the stuff I've done here has been big because of the size of the venue - and the characters that I've played in the past - like Costard, and a lot of the clown characters, and Puck and Peter Quince, and all that - which tend to talk to the audience a lot, you get that interaction. There's none of that in my stuff in this, so that is going to be interesting for me as well I think."

In the second part of his first interview, Fergal talks about Helicanus' language, quick changes between his many costumes, and looking forward to taking Shakespeare indoors.

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Rehearsals 1

"Helicanus has those qualities: he can hold the fort, he can be diplomatic, he's political in that sense, but he also alludes to the fact that he will die for the king. So you get that sense that he's also a soldier-type. So there's a lot to play with there which I find really really interesting. He's multi-layered."

In his first interview, Fergal talks about the many characters he's playing alongside Helicanus, the sprawling but linear nature of Pericles and the nature of courtly authority.

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