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Henry V: Less historically accurate than any history play really ought to be!
Far funnier than any play about war and politics has any right to be!
The cast list is long and (since the nobles are named for the town of their lordship) appears to contain entire cities, including Exeter; not to mention the thousands of ordinary British and French soldiers on the battlefield. In addition, the setting is huge; taking in the British and French courts, a humble English inn, the waterfront at Southampton and entire tracts of the French countryside...
Luckily Shakespeare realised it was a bit big. The Chorus – our tour guide to the play – opens by pointing out how ridiculous it is to try to fit all that on a little stage, and begs our pardon for attempting it. So I have always wanted to see just how small Henry V will go – it is after all, despite its scope, a play about claustrophobic little social and political rules and roles. It is also funny, most of Shakespeare's plays have funny bits to keep his original audiences happy, and though Henry V is sometimes played as a serious comment on war, it is mostly written to be played for laughs, making the occasional deadly serious moments all the more poignant. I want our modern audience to be allowed to laugh as much as their historical predecessors!
I have loved this play ever since studying it at school, but I also like plays where each man in his time plays many parts... So my cast will change hats, roles and ranks as often as possible, on the smallest stage possible, to dare ' on this unworthy scaffold to bring forth so great an object...'
Lydia Dockray - Director
By William Shakespeare
(aided and abetted by Lydia Dockray)
due to unforeseen circumstances.
is to be re-scheduled for early 2017