Shakespeare R&P: Henry V!

I won’t write too lengthy a blog entry for this, seeing as though it’s really late and I’m still damp and cold from the performance, but here goes:

In the mid-morning/afternoon, we got the opportunity to see the Globe exhibit, which is a really cool museum describing life around the Globe in Shakespeare’s times, various crafts of the stage, and other pertinent things. There were Jacobean style costumes in a recreated period costume shop, props from past productions at the Globe, and a large amount of history about the new Globe (which had its first performance in my birth year)! I enjoyed seeing everything, but I’d have to say my favorite part was reading lines from Romeo and Juliet with a pre-recorded actor’s voice and having a program play it back for me. That was fun!

Even starting at 7:30 and running until late, Henry V was brilliant… You know, except for the rain which poured down on us all four hours that we were there. You aren’t allowed to open umbrellas inside the theatre, and I wasn’t wearing appropriate rain gear, so I got really wet. Still, I was barely paying attention to that when the actors were onstage, particularly Henry; he had an amazing stage presence, and all of his rallying speeches were invigorating! We became the foot soldiers of the war which figures in the “national myth of England”; basically, the story behind Henry V explains the legitimacy of the ruling family of England, though they ended up getting killed off pretty soon after and had to be replaced by Scots from there on out… Probably why England doesn’t want to give Scotland its independence!

I’d have to say my favorite scene was at the very end of the play, when Henry sets about wooing his French cousin in a very awkward and adorably clueless way. Hey, don’t blame me for liking the scene with moderate incest; it’s really funny! It’s also very different from the rest of the play, because up until that point, cultured women and men had never actually interacted. It’s really a male-dominated show, particularly because the majority of it deals with war. I really did enjoy it overall, and I would be more than happy to see it again… Providing I don’t wear capris and flats…

Anyways, I’m not feeling so great after the four hours in the rain and the lateness of the hour, so I’m going to hit the hay. Good night, everyone!