Henry V is probably one of Shakespeare’s most popular of the history plays. Different film versions emphasize different aspects of the play as do different productions. Shakespeare and Company is known for its Bare Bard productions where a small cast of actors play all the roles, much as Shakespeare’s traveling companies did back when the plays were first produced in Elizabethan England.
Bob and I love Bare Bard productions because they call upon the imagination of the audience as we watch actors move from one character to another. I know I may overuse the word “magic” in regard to theatre, but that is what it is in the hands of skillful actors like those at Shakespeare and Company. This production is enhanced by Govane Lobauer’s costumes. With the addition of a cloak or a different tunic, we see before we hear each different individual. Eight actors are the courts of England and France, the weary soldiers and others. “The muse of fire…” is truly on the Bernstein stage through August 23.
Bob and I interviewed the director, Jenna Ware, the Henry, Ryan Winkles, and Kelly Galvin and Jon Croy before the play opened. There was much promise in what they said and when we saw the play, the promise was fulfilled. We also had the good fortune to have interviewed Ryan and Kelly earlier in the season when they had just returned from Boston where they had spent the year while Kelly was working on her master’s degree in theatre.