5. ARROW ROUT
Henry V presided over the English victory at Agincourt. Shakespeare’s play about the battle is on in the Dark Room this week.
600 years ago on October 25, 1415, English and French armies fought a decisive battle at Agincourt in France. The French army enjoyed a five to one superiority, but English King Henry V got to choose the battlefield. The boggy ground and the English longbow undid the heavily armoured French knights.
The battle is revisited by Shakespeare in his play Henry V. Director Simon Herbert has been fascinated by Agincourt since becoming acquainted with the story as a boy during a guided tour of England’s Warwick Castle.
‘‘They had a longbowman demonstrating shooting, and he told us all about the Battle of Agincourt. It grabbed my imagination and I’ve wanted to direct Henry V ever since,’’ Simon says.
‘‘And Henry V is one of my favourite Shakespearian plays. It’s not as well-known, but it’s got some of the best speeches and finest poetry Shakespeare wrote.’’
An intriguing aspect of Henry V is the different perspectives it takes on war. The Chorus, a role that Simon plays, decrees war to be be noble and patriotic, but down on the battlefield, the common soldier has quite a different view. The king too has private doubts about what he is doing.
Henry is played by 18-year-old Rohan Hunter, with an ensemble of nine actors sharing the play’s 35 other roles.
The Iris Theatre Company production takes place in the The Dark Room this week from October 15 – 18 at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.
Tickets are $15 with $10 concession. Bookings are through Centrepoint Theatre and on-line thedarkroomnz.com