Search

Theatre review: Henry V at the Old Red Lion Theatre

10:08 06 August 2012

Jack Morris in Henry V at the Old Red Lion Theatre. Photo by Richard Davenport

Jack Morris in Henry V at the Old Red Lion Theatre. Photo by Richard Davenport

©Richard Davenport.

Enthralling and original production compares King Henry to Tony Blair

»There have been numerous productions in recent times of Henry V, one of Shakespeare’s most celebrated plays.

But this one, part of the Old Red Lion’s repertory season, is unlike any made before.

Director Henry Filloux-Bennett takes the play and transforms it into a critical response to the second Iraq war, following the recent Iraq inquiry.

King Henry and his actions are compared to those of Tony Blair. A newly appointed leader guided by religious conviction; a threat to peace; a questionable case for war. The play asks of us: does nothing ever change?

Six actors, each playing multiple characters, bring us this portrayal of a modern war, complete with twenty-four hour news cycle, political spin, prisoner abuse and UN Resolutions.

Sections are cut from Shakespeare’s Henry V to create this modern slant, with intermittent video footage showing us Bush in cahoots with Blair, and the Iraq war.

There are two actors playing the part of the King – a Henry who is clearly modelled on Tony Blair, with New Labour mug in hand, (Jack Morris) and the Henry at war (Mark Field).

The experienced Steve Fortune plays Cambridge, Nicholas Kime brings some camp humour to roles especially that of the Dauphin, and Mark Field gives a solid performance as Henry going into battle.

But the excellent Jack Morris is the star of this show, his portrayal of Blair eerily accurate.

If you are looking for a traditional retelling of Henry V, this is surely not it. However, it is a thought provoking, highly original take on the play and one that will hold you enthralled throughout.

* Henry V is at the Old Red Lion Theatre in St John Street, EC1, until September 29. Call 0844 412 4307 or visit www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk for tickets.

0 comments

Latest Entertainment Stories

Friday, January 23, 2015
90 year old artist Joan Dannatt in her Islington studio.

Danniel Wittenberg talks to Highgate artist Joan Dannatt about holding her first ever exhibition to coincide with her 90th birthday.

Friday, January 23, 2015
The Greek Larder, York Way, King's Cross

Could 2015 be the year of Greek food?

Thursday, January 22, 2015
Ilan Goodman (Liam) and Gina Bramhill (Melody) in rehearsals for Bad Jews at the St. James Theatre. Picture: Robert Workman

The Crouch Hill actress talks to Alex Bellotti about the show’s London debut and why she’s hoping to carve out a niche in comedy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Radicals and Victuallers

Pub grub is authentic taste of America

Most read entertainment

Emergency declared as blizzard is expected to dump up to 24 inches of snow.

With 100 days to go until the General Election we decided to give it a try.

Twitter is taking on WhatsApp and Instagram with new features to make the app more social.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder