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Blog: Henry V

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Friday night saw The Members Of My Audience and I heading to London's Exciting South Bank, for LO! we were off to THE THEATRE!

My big birthday present was tickets to see Henry V at the Globe - we'd spent several evenings this week watching a DVD of the Kenneth Branagh version (which, by the way, is ACE) and were ready for CULTURE... although we were still surprised to find that, on leaving THE PUB, 7.30pm on a theatre ticket MEANS 7.30pm, and pretty much everyone else was in their seats with the show just beginning when we rolled in!

The Globe is an AMAAAAAZING place. It's a recreation of an actual Elizabethan theatre, and you can see pretty much the entire rest of the audience, including a huge THRONG of people standing in the pit, making it a very very different experience to NORMAL theatres where it's DARK so all you can see is the play itself. People always go on and on about "Oh yes, when you see a play performed like this you understand what Shaaaakespeare was really intending" and goodness me but it is TRUE. Pretty much EVERYTHING was being DECLAIMED to the audience, we were constantly ADDRESSED and/or included in the action, it was AMAZING, more like, actually, a comedy gig sort of atmosphere. This DID come across (a bit much i thought) in the production itself, with LOADS of bits played for laughs. It was, as The Two Men In My Pantomime Horse said, "very PANTO", with LOADS of Humorous Voices, Mimed Body Parts, and THE LIKE.

It also reminded me of the FACT that nearly all productions of Shakespeare EDIT the text - the film version had taken out a HUGE chunk of the "comedy" sections, which got put BACK into this one. Personally I am with SIR KENNETH on this one. When we used to go and see plays for School or at college I used to try REALLY HARD to a) NOT doing The Teachers' Laugh at the "comedy sections but also b) give them a chance to BE funny, but it turns out that, really, humour has changed quite a bit in the past 400 years.

Still, large chunks of the ACTION were BRILLIANT - the Big Speech was ACE, the WOOING scene at the end was MAGIC and, as I say, it was all terribly EXCITING to see it done As It Was Intended. We came out at the end with MINDS ABLAZE with THORTS about the whole thing, tho with BACKSIDES rather sore. We did get Posh Cushions as part of the Birthday Treat, but still: wooden benches don't half ACHE after a while!

Thinking about it now it does seem FITTING that my first experience of The Actual Theatre after so long was KIND OF a recreation of The SHAKESPEARE in original surroundings. There's going to have to be a LOAD of plays viewed as I move towards the MA in September, if they're all this good I shall be very happy... though I do hope the chairs get comfier!

posted 26/6/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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