Henry V is at best an uneven play, made even more so in this production by some distinctly lack-lustre scenes-setting. For example, the unmasking of the rebel lords lacked the tension and very real danger their plot had threatened.
As for the king himself, it seemed almost as if he were auditioning for an intimate role in a psychological drama for television, instead of filling the theatre with the great sweep of words and actions Shakespeare offers him.
The last section of the play has always been the most problematic (surely it can be truncated at least?). It wasn't helped here by a delivery that sucked the very life from it. That said, full marks to the chorus and the comic actors who at least let us know it was a play, instead of us eavesdropping on a rather awkward dress rehearsal.
Change Henry and the play could be redeemed - Keep him, and the play is bound to carry on its stumbling journey until consigned to history under that last stage of all, mere oblivion. - David M. Clark
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