Henry V: A Modern Take On Shakespeare's Classic War Tale
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The last date listed for Henry V was Saturday June 2, 2012 / 8:00pm.
Currently at Athenaeum Theatre
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When 28-year-old Chicagoan Arlen Parsa discovered his great grandfather had left behind a long-lost… More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Bob Armstrong
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Not distinctive. It's sometimes a mistake for directors to force a play upward into drama or tragedy by denying/suppressing the very good melodrama that really is there. I guess the underplaying of Henry was to show some kind of gradual transition from an immature king to a mature one (a frequently-occurring theme in Shakespeare), but lack of dynamics in this production makes characters uninteresting and unfocused.
One of this production's biggest enemies is the acoustics, normally fine in the Athenaeum "black box" houses. Actors, especially when they step downstage, are almost buried in their own echoes. Talking louder would not help in this case, although as I said the show in general lacks dynamics, both sonic and visual. That the echo problem was not noticed and addressed before opening night (strategic placement of more curtains, or perhaps a carpet on stage floor if it's not a tripping hazard) puts production staff's artistic judgment into question.
Slide show of 20th-century battle scenes during the play's final scenes (a Brechtian touch I guess) was pointless, and took even more focus away from Shakespeare's language.
A modern take on Shakespeare’s classic tale of war and entitlement. Follow Henry and his countrymen on their way to miraculous victory… but at what cost? Drawing parallels to our own country’s past and utilizing modern storytelling techniques, PTE will explore the disconnect between the atrocities of war and jingoistic fervor on the homefront.