Henry the Fifth

Des McAnuff’s last opportunity to direct a play by Shakespeare at the Stratford Festival was certain to be a block buster. Henry the Fifth provides the scope, with the hero king, the battles, the comedy and the love scenes. McAnuff took advantage of it all. The staging was tremendous, over sized and glorious. The cast was excellent, with Aaron Krohn in the lead, Tom Rooney as Pistol, Randy Hughson as Bardolph, Lucy Peacock as Pistol’s wife, Gareth Potter as the Dauphin and Bethany Jillard as the Princess Catherine and Ben Carlson as Fluellen. The large cast was full of other great actors filling smaller roles. In spite of all of this, the production was good but not fabulous. I think McAnuff forgot about the words. The two big speeches are almost passed over. Some people felt that Aaron Krohn was not up to the role, but I think this was a failure by the Director, not the actor. This was particularly evident in the St Crispin’s Day speech. Krohn was left alone on the stage, speaking to an almost invisible group of followers located on the floor at the foot of the stage. Instead of inspiring his men, he seemed to be talking to himself. This reduced the impact of the speech to the point where it was just another speech and not the most important speech in the play.

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About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in Aaron Krohn, Ben Carlson, Bethany Jillard, Lucy Peacock, Randy Hughson, Stratford 2012, Tom Rooney. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Henry the Fifth

  1. Keith says:

    Visually stunning production.Cathy and I agree that the big speeches didn't pop, though. I'm English (when I feel like it) and I didn't even choke up. Cathy thinks this is a problem with direction, but I have to believe Krohn has to share responsibility.Henry V without a blazing Hal doesn't cut it – even with a great Pistol and Bardolph and a generally strong cast.

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