Henry the Fifth in Unicorn Theatre Londen – reviews

15 november 2013      Hierbij enkele quotes uit de recensies van de Engelse première van Henry the Fifth in het Unicorn Theatre in Londen.

‘Ignace Cornelissen’s deft and involving response for young audiences does something different and more satiric – presenting it as a playground scrap over a sandcastle in which boys fight over a crown, then cause the deaths of thousands.’ (The Guardian ****)

This commitment and passion to both entertain and trigger the imagination and thinking of its audience, is not only evident in the writing and the direction of the play, but is also echoed in the brilliant acting of all the four members of the cast, together talented and vibrant. (Caroline Perret & Lucien Asbury-Perret *****)

What’s also brilliant about the text is that it absolutely guts Shakespeare’s Henry V and guts it in such a simple, unassuming way, that you do wonder why everyone doesn’t do this every time they stage a classic (yes, yes; like the Germans do, without even getting “a writer” on board). By putting the narrator centre-stage – an updated version of Shakespeare’s own Prologue of “Muse of Fire” fame, who deals out-loud with the paradox of being on stage and yet not being a character – Cornelissen gives himself licence to just tell us stuff that he thinks. Through this new dramatic licence, he sets about eviscerating even the slightest notion that anything in Henry V might be celebrated as noble or laudable. (Andrew Haydon, ttp://postcardsgods.blogspot.co.uk/)

‘Reworking of Shakespeare’s Henry V is a masterstroke.’ (South London Press *****)

It’s a total delight to see such ambitious kids’ theatre. (The Telegraph ****)

 

‘FULL OF VISUAL JOKES AND HUMOUR…IT’S A PRODUCTION THAT LOOKS SPLENDID, BUT ITS POWER LIES IN ITS THEATRICAL INVENTION AND ITS UNLEASHING OF THE IMAGINATION’

British Theatre Guide

‘…ONE OF THE BEST VERSIONS I HAVE SEEN…A MAGICAL THEATRE EXPERIENCE AND FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY’

A Younger Theatre 

‘WITTY, QUASI-FEMINIST TAKE ON SHAKESPEARE’S GREATEST WAR-PLAY…BOYDE GIVES US A DELICIOUSLY DETERMINED AND FEISTY KATHERINE’

The Stage

‘…DELIGHTFUL, CHILD-FRIENDLY AND HIGHLY AMUSING’ ★★★★

The Public Reviews

THAT’S ARGUABLY ITS GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT. LONG-TERM, IT NORMALISES A THEATRE THAT IS PROBING, PLAYFUL AND NON-LITERAL. THAT’S HEARTENING IN THE EXTREME.

Matt Trueman

‘SHEER STORYTELLING AT ITS VERY, VERY BEST’

Curious Mum

‘…A CLEVER AND ENGAGING SHOW, AND ANOTHER TRIUMPH FOR THE UNICORN WHICH, UNDER PURNI MORELL, IS MAKING A REAL MARK ON THE THEATRICAL MAP. ★★★★’

Guardian

‘VERY ORIGINAL…THE STORY THAT EMERGES TAKES EVEN MORE – OFTEN HILARIOUS – LIBERTIES WITH THE HISTORY’ ★★★★

What’sOnStage.com

‘THIS TERRITORIAL TANTRUM IS AS SHARP A STAGE IMAGE AS YOU’LL SEE IN AGES – AND IT’S IN A KIDS SHOW. HOW BRILLIANT IS THAT?’ ★★★★

Telegraph