Rising to the challenge
‘ 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
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.