Sunday, 29 June 2014

Henry V, Bell Shakespeare, July 2, 2014

By William Shakespeare, by Bell Shakespeare
Playhouse, Arts Centre, Melbourne, July 2-12, 2014

I am not reviewing this for Herald Sun but have made a few belated notes on the production. KH
 Henry V in rehearsal
This production is an interesting take on Henry V. A group of schoolkids rehearse the play in a London bomb shelter during World War Two.

The conceit works for the first 40 minutes but then it palls when the childish playfulness and light voices of the young men diminishes the gravity of Henry's assault on France.

The novelty of the interpretation wears off and we crave some truth and depth in the depiction of such a brutal and senseless war. KH

From Bell Media Release:
Damien Ryan will direct his first mainstage production for Bell Shakespeare. (Henry V is) A tale about a king who unites a nation with his eloquent words and ideas, his triumphs and humanity...

Ryan’s contemporary take is inspired by a true story; for 71 consecutive nights during
the Blitz in 1941, a group of boys stuck in a bunker started a ‘Boy’s Club’, where they
would rehearse a new play each week, including Shakespeare’s works and then perform
it for the other people in the shelter.

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