Sunday, September 16

Henry V

Today was the day of the annual Shakespeare in the Park festival, held at the Einbunpin Lagoon of Sandgate.  This is always a highlight of my year, and this time, the weather was perfect in honour of the occasion. 

The performance was of Shakespeare's history, Henry V.  Previously, the plays have taken place on a single rectangular stage with a wing for the strings quartet and several platforms for different settings.  This year, much to my delight, it was staged in the round.

For me as a drama student, this was doubly exciting, and triply so because I'd never seen anything acted in this format before.  To stage a play in the round is to perform on a circular stage, around three quarters of which sits the audience.  This means that the actors have to perform to all angles.  To make it even more thrilling, there were six low platform set up at regular intervals within the seating area, with roped off walkways from each to the central stage.  This meant that often actors seemed to run straight through the audience.  It was very effective at engaging the audience and raising the level of tension.  Also, as the play is set at several different locations, it was much easier to understand when a change of setting took place.  

So, to appease your appetites, here are some photos.  The glare on the camera lens made it impossible to take more than a few good shots. 

Characters introduced 

Execution of the traitors

The King of France

Henry V

The King of France in battle against England

Henry V hears of the English loss

The small platforms 

View of the stage 

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