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03 June 2013


Henry V
Globe on Screen
Cineworld, Braintree
Monday 3rd June 2013

The Globe on Screen showings at cinemas across the country are an ideal (and more comfortable!) way to catch up with performances that audiences might - due to distances, finances or timings - otherwise miss.  Similar productions can be seen at the cinema from the Met Opera and the National Theatre, among others.  Not a replacement for live productions, the atmosphere is no where the same and one cannot fully appreciate the majesty of the Globe, for example, from a dark room in Braintree, but a positive outreach they certainly are.

Jamie Parker's Hal is exemplary and an absolute joy to watch.  This play is unmitigated royal propaganda and his performance of a merciful, witty, modest and charming King fits the tone of the piece ideally.  His strength and inspiration on the battlefield are enough to rouse the entire audience to fight by his side, with one of Shakespeare's most famous speeches delivered to utter perfection.  Later his endearing fumblings while wooing the young French princess show a more human side to this heroic regal figure, with a performance by Parker that also wooed the captivated audience.  A strong group of players to accompany this excellent portrayal too, with stand out comic performances from the Welsh Captain Fluellen by Brendan O'Hea, and an intricately timed and hilariously energetic performance of rascal Pistol by Sam Cox.  

This is a perfect example of what the Globe does best, and I wish I had managed to catch such a fantastic production live.  However, thanks to the excellent filming by the Globe on Screen, I was able to enjoy these unmissable performances anew - a welcome development in theatre accessibility.

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