Cowart's Common Room
Henry V

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Once more unto the armchairs, dear friends, once more......
Hank the Cinq is on at 8pm tonight. Not alas with Branagh above, whose version is my personal favourite, but we shall see. It's a very long play so we'll see what bits are left out. But I hope they don't try to show us the Agincourt battle, which isn't necessary for the play and as the BBC don't have the resources to portray a battle convincingly that rather defeats the object of the exercise.

Am off now to sit in my deckchair and enjoy the sunshine.

Posted at 21st Jul 2012 - 05:19PM   Posted by Fennie   Henry V Comments: 11

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Fennie's Avatar He looks like a boy Wallander, doesn't he? The real Henry had a disfigured face having been wounded by an arrow there at the battle of Shrewsbury.

Posted by: Fennie on 21st Jul 2012 at 05:22PM

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Lily's Avatar Shall be watching later. Thought Richard 11 was very good. Quite a few speeches/lines omitted from Henry1V and some scenes were reversed in order, but still thoroughly enjoyed it, even the battle scene.

Posted by: Lily on 21st Jul 2012 at 06:08PM

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Fennie's Avatar Yes I thought Richard II superb. Henry IV part II I liked more than part I. Yes, they did rearrange the scenes a bit and of course abridged the text as their time is limited.

Posted by: Fennie on 21st Jul 2012 at 06:35PM

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Withy Brook's Avatar It is lasting a long time, so it will be interesting to see how much of it they do. I am so old that John Guilgood (Sp) is my hero!
I agree about the battle - not needed and couldn't be done well.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 21st Jul 2012 at 07:26PM

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Mountainear's Avatar We chickened out and took the dogs for a walk instead and I think it is too late to start watching now. Some regrets as we didn't do any of the histories at school and they remain a mystery.

However I can report that the night is cool and clear and it is getting dark already.

Posted by: Mountainear on 21st Jul 2012 at 09:36PM

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Fennie's Avatar Well that was quite awful! Shakespeare wrote a play that was full of pace and comedy. We have been served up something without direction, the king mumbling away, talking neither to a person or group, nor to an audience, but not to himself either. There's a cooking pot in the background, after the battle scene that is quite unexplained. Most of the time the King could have been reading his lines. All the poetry of the original was lost. The great St Crispin's day battle speech designed to be delivered to 5,000 he mutters to three people and is full of unexplained pauses. Ugh. Horrid! Which is very sad as I wanted it to be good.

Posted by: Fennie on 21st Jul 2012 at 10:21PM

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Blackbird's Avatar Oh, Fennie, I'm sorry that you are disappointed with the show but you still have your favorite to retreat to.

Is it harder to enjoy a play when you have so much experience yourself? I would think maybe so.

Posted by: Blackbird on 22nd Jul 2012 at 05:12AM

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Lily's Avatar Oh dear! Didn't watch last evening as a bit tired after a long day out at RHS Rosemoor. Was hoping to enjoy the recording later this week. I wonder if there is a problem with the more well known plays, in that there is some pressure to come up with something different in presentation?
I'm not too bothered about the battle scenes, they must have been pretty sketchy in the original performances. Maybe the audiences were more accustomed to using their imagination than we are now? Maybe we're a bit spoilt by films?

Posted by: Lily on 22nd Jul 2012 at 07:34AM

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Fennie's Avatar I have been struggling to find a way to explain the difference between a play and a film. One analogy might be that in a play you have all the actors in a single room and for want of scenery and jump cuts they have to entertain you and hold your attention by deploying all sorts of theatrical devices and it is the holding of your attention via these devices that makes the theatre compelling (or not). With a film the action is taking places in a whole variety of rooms into which you can peer via the keyhole. The actors don't even know that you are there.

Deploying theatrical devices in a film is wasted as there isn't a physical audience and for the actors a filmed playscript is like talking to someone who isn't there. A film script is a different kettle of fish. Had Shakespeare been asked to write a film script the result would have been very different to his play.

Plays can be filmed - but to turn a play into a film (as in this case) so that the resultant piece is neither one nor the other, just loses the magic of theatre without gaining the grandeur of film.

Posted by: Fennie on 22nd Jul 2012 at 11:16AM

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Lily's Avatar Thanks Fennie, however am aware of the differences .Merely wanted to say that the battle scenes do not bother me if not realistically done- I find imagination + the language carry me through. Have to say I've yet to watch Henry V, so am speaking in a general way. Maybe we'll meet some day and can carry on our discussion?
Richard 11 still remains my favourite of all the history plays.

Posted by: Lily on 22nd Jul 2012 at 03:09PM

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Fairy Nuff's Avatar I don't think films of plays work particularly well unless re-scripted as a film (which would mean re-writing Shakespeare...not that that's stopped Holllywood in the past!).
I like the way on stage you can get lost in your imagination.
The best Midsummer nights dream I ever saw had 6 people, two large black umbrellas and a black cube you could sit on...no scenery just clever lighting.

It's too easy to use CGI now to stage huge battle scenes etc with computerised armies so we never get asked to use our imagination...not an improvement in my eyes.

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 22nd Jul 2012 at 04:07PM

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