Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Life at the Theater: HENRY V



We saw this at Stratford Shakespeare Festival this summer. A nicely mounted production but not my favorite play by any means. The actor playing Henry played Lenny in THE HOMECOMING last season and oh, my I liked him better in that. He was transfixing in that play.

I have to admit Shakespeare's history plays leave me cold except for Richard III.Am I a philistine?

7 comments:

Loren Eaton said...

I've never much liked the histories either. I'm a tragedy guy. What does that say about me?

pattinase (abbott) said...

That we like an invented narrative rather than one determined by fact.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Shakespeare was never too worried about facts.

Deb said...

I second Todd's comments. Shakespeare knew what side his bread was buttered on (as did all playwrites who wanted to see their plays produced in a time when all theater works had to be reviewed by official censors before being permitted for performance) and he strictly toed the Tudor line when it came to English history (Richard III = hunchbacked monster, etc.). On the other hand, being raised in England at that time, the Tudor version of historical events WAS the version most people knew and believed. When it comes to the histories, I tend to focus more on ancillary, fictional characters like Falstaff or Mistress Quickly than "real" historical ones.

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I don't think you're a philistine at all. Different plays have different effects on different people. There's no reason all of Shakespeare's work should appeal to you in the same way.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That is true. I do find them overly violent (okay, that part is probably right) and lacking charm. And I never met a king I liked.

Anonymous said...

I like Henry V - maybe because we saw it in Central Park and on Broadway with the great Alan Howard. I also liked Branagh's movie version.

Jeff M.