Theatre review: Henry V at the Old Red Lion Theatre
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?
You may also want to watch:
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.
- 1 'Proper old Islington boozer' voted best pub by readers
- 2 Trevi Ristorante scoops prize with readers' votes
- 3 Kacem Mokrane: Islington man amongst seven charged with 2017 murder
- 4 Man in Highbury court charged with shooting gun in High Holborn
- 5 Dog Olympix 2021 raises more than £700 for a water fountain in Whittington Park
- 6 'Islington drivers – you don't always need to overtake cyclists'
- 7 Mem and Laz Brasserie voted as readers' favourite restaurant
- 8 Tony Eastlake: Man denies murder of ‘flower man of Islington’
- 9 Aristocrat's daughter, 25, died unexpectedly after developing 'severe headache'
- 10 Spectrum to C5: How Clive Sinclair began the UK’s tech revolution from a house in Islington
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.