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Stage Dragon: ‘Once More Unto the Breach’, GSC to Re-run Henry V

Published on: 23 Feb, 2021
Updated on: 23 Feb, 2021

By Alice Fowler

“When we work together, the impossible is possible, a sentiment that has never been more significant,” this is the powerful message of unity and hope contained in Henry V, says Guildford Shakespeare Company co-founder Matt Pinches.

And to mark Shakespeare’s Birthday in April, the award-winning company are to stage a new, online reimagining of their hit 2014 open-air production.

Set in 1415, before and after the Battle of Agincourt, the play takes place at a time when the country is exhausted after years of political infighting. A charismatic, untested young leader ascends the throne. Yet for all his inexperience, Henry’s vision will see him, and his country, turn around their shattered state and collectively forge a new peace and prosperity.

Director Caroline Devlin returns to GSC to re-imagine her 2014 production for an online audience.

Originally staged in promenade around Guildford Cathedral and featuring a son et lumière backdrop, the show embraced Shakespeare’s challenge to consider what is possible within this ‘Wooden O’ of the Elizabethan theatre, using just five actors and a bare scaffold stage.

GSC’s new production will again be performed by just five actors, working in isolation, who will carry audiences from London to Paris via Southampton, and of course to the bloody battlefield of Agincourt.

As Matt Pinches points out: “The questions that the Chorus presents at the start of the play are exactly the same as we have been asking ourselves for the last 12 months: how do we bring the magic of a theatre experience to audiences isolated and watching online, whilst also making that experience in the same isolation?’

Using the platform Zoom, the production builds on the digital innovations of the last 12 months and will be GSC’s sixth original online show since March 2020. During this time the company’s shows have been watched by a worldwide live audience of over 3,600 households. Performances will take place from April 22nd to April 25th and casting is to be announced.

Booking opens March 19th (Priority Booking from March 15th). Tickets cost £20 (max 2 persons on one device).

See: www.guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk/Henry-5-online for booking.

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