A fantastic production. Great credit must also go to Travelex for sponsoring the season so successfully. Its a great site to see the large theatre packed to the rafters after weeks of running. Lester is superb, as are many of the supporting cast, William Gaunt to name but one. Go watch it! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52)
14 Aug 03
I thought this was dreadful, I can't believe these are our 'national actors' ie the best we have, very few of them (except mr lester and Penny Downie) had any command ofthe verse of vocal control at all, impossible to hear or to understand. So bad I left in the interval. More concentrating on the basics like the text and less concern with jeeps on stage is what's called for. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
05 Aug 03
Absolutely the best Henry V I've seen. I loved the multimedia zapping..it really worked unlike in a touring 1984 I saw recently. I could listen to Adrian Lester forever...Tony Blair take heed...that's the way to do it. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (220.127.116.11)
30 Jun 03
A very good start to the new RNT regime. It is very timely and the modern staging works very well. Adrian Lester is an even better Henry than he was a Hamlet or a Rosalind ! - and that's compliment indeed. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (18.104.22.168)
22 Jun 03
Brilliant, absolutely the one modern setting Shakespeare production I have seen that completely works. I have now seen this, girl friday and js the opera and from those three I am completely sure that Hytner will be a great artistic directer.This production is so good, Hytner expertly manages to tame the vast olivier stage always keeping the action going, and yes it has an anti war theme but it is not too obvious and creates the most powerful moments, such as when the soldeirs are forced to shoot the French prisoners, if Tony Blair saw this he could learn a lesson. I noiced that the only critic that did not like this was that obnoxius moron Toby Young who says that everything is crap anyway. The acting is brilliant particularly Adrian Lester who is an actor of rare quality, watch how he can be evil and charm the audience at the same time. It was also good to see gret actors like William Guant give some quality to the supporting characters. If you are interested in Shakespeare or even the theatre, go and see this now! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (22.214.171.124)
05 Jun 03
A commanding, charismatic performance from Adrian Lester, but the production is a bit lacking in excitement and atmosphere at the moment (again, first preview - it will probably develop). We've become used to lavish sets at the NT over the years and although it's quite refreshing to see a minimalist design, it also feels a bit "cheap"! Some very enjoyable touches though, such as clever use of video. And if nothing else it's well worth seeing for Adrian Lester alone. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (126.96.36.199)
07 May 03
If you enjoyed the Sam West Hamlet production last year, you'll enjoy this. It has the same wit and invention and is truly contemporary without being "in your face" modern.
Adrian Lester as Henry is magnificent. But he's magnificent in an approachable, human, West Wing sort of way. This seems to makes his moral core both more admirable and more palatable than a more traditional "kingly" reading might be. His voice and verse-speaking put him at the forefront of current Shakespearian actors.
The rest of the cast are competent without being outstanding. Penny Downie in her narrator-chorus role is compelling to watch and to hear but hasn't quite found enough ground to make this as brilliant a performance as it might be. I saw this on the first preview and I suspect that the role will mature. If nothing else, they need to find better ways of getting her off stage!
Apart from Adrian Lester, the real star is the direction and design of this production. Three hours (inc interval) whizzed by in a barrage of strong imagery, surprises, powerful lighting and staging and of course a right rollicking war story with a fantastic lead actor. This is memorable Shakespeare.
- USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52)
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