Henry V

20 February 2018, 19:30 - 21:00

Griffons Theatre, Paston College

Performance dates and times

Tuesday 20th February at 7:30pm
Wednesday 21st February at 1:30pm and 7:30pm
Friday 23rd February at 7:30pm

Tickets £5 (£3 concessions) Box office (01692 402334)

Now crowned king, former playboy prince Henry has been forced to give up his party lifestyle. After a serious diplomatic incident, he decides on a violently direct approach to relations with our European neighbours - by declaring war.

As his task force prepares, Henry has little idea that his old mates from the pub are coming along for the ride.

As we head towards Brexit, is there a more timely play to do than Shakespeare’s Henry V, dealing as it does with a man who has a very direct attitude to our relationship with the countries of Europe? ‘I love France so well, Henry says, ‘that I will not part with a village of it.’

The production is directed by Paston English teacher, George Norton, who is following the recent example of London’s Donmar Warehouse and using an all-female cast. ‘I thought it would be interesting,’ he says, ‘to see how the Shakespeare’s most male-dominated play would work when performed exclusively by women. It certainly throws an interesting light on ideas of heroism, courage and masculinity.’

The other key influence on the production is punk culture. George explains, ‘In cutting the play, we’ve given prominence to the scenes involving the ordinary soldiers in Henry’s army which provide a subversive antidote to the militarism and patriotism of the rest of the play. We’ve found the best way of giving these scenes expression is through a punk aesthetic. This has influenced the choice of music too with live versions of songs by Billy Bragg, The Undertones and The Stranglers becoming part of the show.’

For more information, email: george.norton@paston.ac.uk

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