Monday, May 20

Tag: Henry V

Henry V – Leeds Playhouse
Yorkshire & Humber

Henry V – Leeds Playhouse

This is not a production for the purists as the traditional opening chorus is ditched in favour of a dying Henry IV handing over the crown to Prince Hal. It is typically challenging rethinking of the traditional text by dramaturg Cordelia Lynn who offers a smartly edited dark version that is a million miles away from the jingoish of Olivier’s technicolour movie version. That propaganda piece focused on Henry as a selfless warrior for a nation and empire in its greatest peril, but Lynn’s king is a conflicted man who reluctantly embraces the relentless brutality displayed by monarchs of that period, and familiar to Shakespeare’s audiences who had often fought in bloody campaigns. This is co-production with Headlong whose artistic director Holly Race Roughan places the uniformly excell...
<strong>Henry V – Shakespeare’s Globe</strong>

Henry V – Shakespeare’s Globe

When Henry IV dies, his son takes over the crown. The new king has risen to power in fragile and uncertain times. He is provoked by an insult from the French Prince Louis. His brother and his uncle elicit him to prove himself. Henry V decides to invade France. Henry V has popularly been received as the celebration of an uncompromising nationhood and the eminence of imperial ambitions. But this production seems to offer several counter-narratives that exist within the story. Such as the story of Pistol, Bardolph, Nym and a young Boy, who are all caught up in the patriotic fervour and join Henry's army, hoping to enrich themselves in the chaos of invasion. Their narrative brings to light the indifference of the kings towards their infantry and the unfair imbalance of power structures tha...
Henry V – Donmar Warehouse

Henry V – Donmar Warehouse

Shakespeare’s wartime history is transported to the modern day in Max Webster's newest production for the Donmar Warehouse, this time screen through National Theatre Live. For those unfamiliar with the plot: after an insult from the French Dauphin, King Henry V of England invades France to claim the throne he believes should be his. Henry stops an assassination plot, rouses troops with powerful rhetoric, and wins battles when the odds are stacked against England. In the end, he marries the Princess of France, linking the two nations. Shakespeare’s original production was set around 1599 and contained all the ingredients to make it a smash hit at the royal court. This production poignantly communicates the ease with which Shakespeare can seemingly be transplanted to perhaps any time per...