Shakespeare’s epic exploration of war, brotherhood, and what a man will sacrifice to become one of history’s greatest leaders, is given a transformative touch by leading producers SHAKEITUP! and Sharu Loves Hats. Turning the Shakespearean tradition of all-male casts on its head and presenting a new and contemporary vision, this innovative version of a traditionally testosterone-driven Henry V features a massive 40-strong all-woman cast of our finest female talent.
Henry V, 26-year-old King of England, leads his rag-tag army on a bloody adventure in France.
In Shakespeare’s theatrical masterpiece the audience is transported from the intimate intrigues and politics of royal courts to epic battles between mighty armies, following a young King destined to carry the weight of two countries on his shoulders as he secures the future of both – and in so doing, comes of age. Led by British based international performer Jennifer Matter (www.jennifermatter.com) in the titular role, this season of Henry V will also feature previous SHAKEITUP! company members including award-winning actress Katherine Kennard (Nothing Trivial, Sparticus) as the Herald of France; Jennifer Freed (Ash vs Evil Dead, The Insatiable Moon) as The Dauphin, the Prince of France and enemy to Henry V; as well as Maxine Cunliffe (AUSA Midsummer Night’s Dream) in the pivotal role of Chorus. Audience favourite Alison Quigan (Shortland St, former Artistic Director Centrepoint Theatre) will also make a cameo appearance, in addition to a special performance from one of Auckland’s most experienced Shakespearean performers/directors, Lexie Matheson.
“It's a wonderful opportunity. The cast is really strong, Jennifer Matter is an inspired choice, and I'm excited to play a role that's written entirely in medieval French. Actually, I'm chuffed just to be in it at all! I've been a fan of the director Grae Burton for many years and it's terrific to finally get to work with him. So, very excited,” says Matheson.
Produced by SHAKEITUP!, a Shakespeare company acclaimed for its unique reinventions of Shakespeare in performance, in conjunction with established producer Sharu Loves Hats, and supported by The Wallace Arts Trust, this Henry V season not to be missed.
Since 2014 SHAKEITUP! under the guidance of Artistic Director Grae Burton has produced 2 touring seasons of Shakespeare anthologies, Passionate Acts and Shakespeare’s Rebels. Burton was previously Artistic Director for the Nelson/Tasman tour of Summer Shakespeare for five years, Tour Manager and company member for The Ugly Shakespeare Company and toured Asia with 13 Shakespeare Productions including Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night.
Burton says: “Auckland audiences are in for a treat and definitely should not miss this rare opportunity to see one of Shakespeare’s most eloquent and evocative productions, with this utterly unique rendition.”
Henry V, directed by Grae Burton and Natalie Beran and produced by Sharu Delilkan (Sharu Loves Hats), with the support of The Wallace Arts Trust plays, rain or shine at:
The Pah Homestead, TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre, Feb 26-27, 7 pm and Mar 6, 5:30 pm. Book at www.henryv.tinytix.nz
PopUp Globe, Feb 28-29 and Mar 7 & 9. Book at www.popupglobe.co.nz/2016/henry-v/auckland
The Pumphouse, Mar 3-5, 7 pm. Book at http://pumphouse.co.nz/shows/henry-v/