King Henry V of England is manipulated by the clergy into invading France to claim the crown; He finds that it is more difficult than he imagines, and must rely on his ability to lead his ... See full summary »
A female theatre dresser creates a stir and sparks a revolution in seventeenth century London theatre by playing Desedmona in Othello. But what will become of the male actor she once worked for and eventually replaced?
Henry Bolingbroke has now been crowned King of England, but faces a rebellion headed by the embittered Earl of Northumberland and his son (nicknamed 'Hotspur'). Henry's son Hal, the Prince ... See full summary »
Reviewer "anne-25" from England was evidently so exercised by what she perceived as shortcomings in this excellent production of "Henry V" that she neglected to listen to the words. In the opening Chorus, we are advised that, since the entire combatants of Agincourt could not be incorporated into the production, we must "into a thousand pieces divide one man." A little further along, the Chorus enjoins us thusly: "O, pardon! since a crooked figure may attest in little place a million." Shakespeare obviously knew something that "anne-25" does not -- it's unfeasible to expect two medieval armies to be incorporated into a humble stage production; therefore, we must use our imaginations, as per, again from the Chorus, "upon your imaginary forces work." Even Olivier's and Branagh's film versions left a lot to be desired in this aspect. Olivier's Agincourt was confusing and brief (although the arrow flights, abetted by Walton's glorious music, were stunning); and Branagh's, although more realistic and bloody (fought in the rain as was the real Agincourt), made us suffer through excruciating and over-used slow motion, a device that never adds to action sequences. And by my count, there were far fewer than sixty thousand French soldiers in either production.
So, "anne-25," a little advice -- listen to the Chorus next time, and perhaps you'll enjoy yourself much more.
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