By William Shakespeare

Henry V Concept Player's Logo (Copyrighted)It was about 2 years previously that Kevin came to our AGM with a plan of doing Henry V in modern dress, with a rugby theme and tying it in with the Rugby World Cup. We all thought it a great idea, pencilled it into the diary and then forgot about it; two years is ages away!

Greatly to his credit, Kevin did not forget, and worked tirelessly to put this show on. He assembled a great cast; some familiar faces and also a host of talented new members all of which put in a tremendous amount of effort, both in learning a huge amount of dialogue particularly Laurence as Henry V and re-discovering their long-forgotten rugby skills, though for some, it had been longer ago than for others!

The "concept" was inspired. There was no set as such, just five chairs. The battles were rugby battles and the court scene were various dialogues in boardrooms and changing rooms. The costumes obviously reflected this: club ties and chinos for the English, suave black suits for the French. Add in some atmospheric lighting and the scene was set. Amanda Collins got the performance underway, performing Chorus wonderfully, though her ball throwing skills were put to test but she didn't miss once during the run unlike Geraint who knocked the ball into the pit on the first night and Ellie who misjudged the line out during Harfleur (something was said about women not knowing measurement and it being the fault of men!).

Henry V played by LaurenceThen of course there was the French language to contend with. Not only French but Shakespearean French! But the challenge was risen to and the French scene of manners between the King's daughter and her maid was very well done. As were many other scenes; highlights including some very dubious Pistol scenes where chav met chavette in a rather Sapphic way, the emotionally fraught traitors scene (tears and all) and the final scenes between Fluellen and Henry.

And as to Henry: what is there to say except Laurence gave a performance of a lifetime, mixing the pathos, humour, anger and vengefulness with the right amounts of subtly and vigour.

All in all, this was a performance that showed the versatility of the company (who else would start with a history as their first Shakespeare outing?) and no doubt we will return to the Bard at sometime in the future.



"A reworking of Shakespeare so mad it verges on the brilliant"

The Metro


"[a] formidable and impressive cast...well paced and innovative production, by Kevin Welch"