Christina Franc & Alexandra Markes
July 4th and 5th, the field behind Grove Hall in Huntingdon, was lit up with the dramatic performance of Harry the King: The Famous Victories of Henry V, adapted from William Shakespeare played by the Repercussion Theatre. With a cast of nine actors and actresses, playing over 20 various characters, it was an impressive show for all ages, from the Styrofoam sword fights to the sometimes desperate attempts to speak French.
Read more below.
The company did an amazing job in captivating the audience throughout the whole show, which was spoken in Old English. They improvised some lines to include elements of their surroundings, such as a spider crawling on one of the actor’s faces and the sound of fireworks to create a comfortable, fun and engaging environment.
The program describes the story of Harry the King: The Famous Victories of Henry V as taking place during the reign of Henry the IV in England, at a time of scandals and rebellions. The young prince Harry, who will take the throne in the near future, is not your conventional prince. He keeps friends with thieves and ne’er-do-wells, and when he threatens to leave the pub, the bar patrons entice him to stay by putting on a play about his possible future.
The play within the play: King Henry IV challenges his son’s allegiances, and is quickly proved wrong as Harry defeats Hotspur at the battle of Shrewbury, and declares war on France, with his father’s blessing. With the banishment of his oldest, dearest friend and his own isolation as a result of climbing the victory ladder, Harry soon realizes there are some battles that can’t be won alone and starts to doubt that he can defeat the massive French army. Recognizing this, Harry rallies his army together as a “band of brothers” and conquers France, taking the King of France’s daughter, Katherine of Valois as his wife, and making peace between England and France…for now.
The performance was free of charge, although as director Paul Hopkins said, “If you like us, please donate generously during the intermission. If you don’t like us, please donate more generously so we can do a better job next year.”
Repercussion Theatre has a mission to deliver classically based, visually dynamic theatre that is accessible to all, bringing performing arts to people in their community.
Check out a video sample of what you missed if you couldn't make it out below.