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Holden Street Theatres – The Arch, Sat 18 Feb.
One man theatre pieces tend to be comic in intent, or full of parody, but nothing of the sort with Brett Brown’s Henry V (Man and Monarch). So, if you like your Shakespeare neither stirred nor shaken, but just ever so slightly rearranged – this show is for you. Brett is well credentialed in Shakespearean circles, as is the direction by Parrabbola, though there are sections that do have more modern considerations behind them, the Shakespearean pedigree is solid.
Extracts of Henry’s appearances in several of Shakespeare’s plays have been knitted together, retaining fidelity to the source pieces. Thus it is not a straight narrative and the links aren’t quite seamless. Rather, audiences are immersed in Shakespearean English by a man who is clearly at home in this element. We witness the highs and lows of one of the most heroic of English kings.
The wedding scene provides a little audience participation – someone randomly selected to be Catherine, and we might consider ourselves fortunate to be treated to a little of Brett’s singing voice, which is superb. Along the way we see the king covered with the blood of war, and so well staged that this can come on and off in front of us as part of the theatre.
Henry V (Man and Monarch) is not a Shakespearean play, but a character with considerable thought and creativity expended to present us something different and new, but true to its roots – well worth a spot in your fringe calendar.
Henry V (Man & Monarch) continues at Holden Street Theatres – The Arch from 8pm until Sun 5 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.