I’ve been writing about the plays I went to see over the Christmas period, and the last one I went to see was Henry V at the Noël Coward Theatre in London’s West End. You can read my previous two reviews here.
My dad booked us tickets to see this play a few months ago for a trip to celebrate his 50th birthday. It was lovely to have a family evening out! I’d never seen any of Shakespeare’s histories before. I’ve seen a lot of his comedies and quite a few tragedies over the years, but for one reason or another have just never managed to get tickets for a history. So I was excited to experience one for the first time (oh, and the fact that it starred none other than Jude Law wasn’t too much of a problem for me either).
To be honest, the play itself didn’t wow me. I was a little apprehensive about what I was going to think of it anyway. I knew it focused on Henry at war with France, and I’ve always been more of a rom-com girl than war-biopic when picking movies, and I think it’s kind of the same with plays. Although my dad really enjoyed it and I think my brother did as well, mum and I weren’t as keen – not to live up to female sterotypes or anything… I won’t go into detail about the plot as a quick Wikipedia will give you a basic summary, but I will say that Henry’s proposal to Kate in the final scene was my favourite part of the play (which probably says more about me than it does about the play)! The rest of it was just a little bit too fighty for me…
The acting though, as expected, was outstanding. Law did a great job with Henry’s ‘once more unto the breech’ speech, which was probably the most powerful part of the play for me. His interpretation of it really communicated how much of a born leader Henry was, and how passionate he was about his country. I was actually surprised at the amount humour in the script, and the actors highlighted it wonderfully, which made a nice contrast to the heaviness of the fighting and political elements.
Overall, I did enjoy the play, even if it wasn’t my usual choice of genre. Tickets can be booked until 15th February, and they release £10 day seats every morning for that evening’s performance, so if you’re based in London and can get over to the West End, it’s a bargain!