Ris­ing to the chal­lenge

The Tribune (NZ) - - OPINION -

‘ Twas al­ways go­ing to be an am­bi­tious ex­er­cise pro­duc­ing this highly cin­e­matic his­tory play on a small stage. Eleven per­form­ers, in­clud­ing di­rec­tor Si­mon Her­bert, pre­sented an adroitly cut down ver­sion of Henry V, which cul­mi­nates with the 1415 Bat­tle of Agin­court, and the out­num­bered English king’s vic­tory over the French army.

With the ex­cep­tion of Si­mon’s Cho­rus, and Ro­han Hunter’s King Henry, mem­bers of the en­sem­ble were called to play many parts.

Given the re­source re­straints, it was to ev­ery­one’s credit they made each one dis­tinc­tive and dif­fer­en­ti­ated and the story easy to fol­low. Less suc­cess­ful were some of the char­ac­ter­i­sa­tions, but with the quick­fire role changes, they were all ar­tic­u­late and flu­ent while keep­ing the pro­duc­tion mov­ing at a good clip.

Ro­han has quite a pres­ence, but was per­haps a lit­tle too trad ‘kingly’ and needed to play down the mea­sured re­gal mien. Si­mon ob­vi­ously rel­ished his nar­ra­tor’s role as the Cho­rus and linked the pro­ceed­ings ef­fec­tively.

A pageant with­out much pageantry, the com­pany de­serves con­grat­u­la­tions for tak­ing on the chal­lenge

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

As the pro­vi­sions of the se­cret agree­ment be­come known, the fears of those op­posed to the Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship Agree­ment could prove to be un­founded.

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