Friday, October 11, 2013

Thea Sharrock's HENRY V--better than Eyre.

Good--so much better than either of the 2 directed by Richard Eyre. But why oh why did she have Henry V give the Crispian speech to a handful of nobles when much of it is explicitly intended to inspire men whose condition may be ne'er so vile? You need this to inspire the troops, not a handful of nobles. The Folio says Erpingham enters "with all his hoast" [sic] but the Quarto just says with "Attendance." So you can't really argue from the stage directions, just from previous productions.

I find myself thinking the earlier filmed versions were right in pumping up the patriotism before the troops, not before a dottering handful of nobles.

I still am sickened by the Henry IV Part One that was so slashed that there was no possibility of delighting in Hotspur and lamenting his end. Henry IV Part One as directed by Eyre was better only because it is a lesser play and was not so damaged by the hacking away at the script. What I mean is that in Part Two no one's character is revealed in his speech, so taking out half or two thirds of any passage thins the "verbiage" (as Jeremy Irons ineffably says) but does not really alter your sense of the speaker. BECAUSE it is a lesser play it is not as damaged by the cuts.

Of the four, Richard II was the best, we both thought.

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