'Let life be short, else shame will be too long.'
Shakespeare’s masterpiece of the turbulence of war and the arts of peace tells the romantic story of Henry’s campaign to recapture the English possessions in France. But the ambitions of this charismatic king are challenged by a host of vivid characters caught up in the real horrors of war.
Henry V, which opened the new Globe with the words ‘O for a muse of fire’, celebrates the power of language to summon into life courts, pubs, ships and battlefields within the ‘wooden O’ - and beyond.
Much loved for his performance as Prince Hal in Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (2010), Jamie Parker returns to Hal’s journey as Henry V. Other credits included The History Boys at the National Theatre, on Broadway and on film.
In association with the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.
The Chorus apologises for this attempt to present a great historical subject in the theatre. Henry hears the legal arguments in favour of his claim to the French crown. He tells the French ambassador who delivers a derisory gift of tennis balls from the Dauphin of France, that he will reclaim the former English possessions in France.
The Chorus describes the English fleet preparing to embark from Southampton and warns of three traitors in Henry's command. Before leaving, Henry exposes the traitors and they are led off for execution. In London, the old boon companions of Henry's youth, Pistol, Bardolph, Nym, Hostess Quickly and Falstaff's former page, lament the death of Falstaff. The men and the boy decide to seek their fortunes in the King's campaign.
The Chorus announces the siege of the French seaport of Harfleur. With the exception of the boy, Henry's old companions are more interested in looting than fighting. They have to be driven through the breach in the town wall. Fluellen laments that his fellow captain, MacMorris, has laid the mines under the walls improperly. Harfleur is taken, but the army is sickly and Henry plans to retire to Calais. At the French Court, Princess Katherine learns English from Alice, her lady in waiting.
The French send a great force to meet the English. Pistol, seeking pardon for Bardolph (who has robbed a church), begins a quarrel with Fluellen. Fluellen later reports Bardolph's execution to the King. At Agincourt, near Calais, the King, in disguise, visits his soldiers at night. He begins a quarrel with Williams, which they determine to resolve after the battle. Meanwhile, the French dice for the numbers of English prisoners they will take. Henry rejects all representations from the French for ransom and, against enormous odds, engages them in battle. Pistol takes a French prisoner and the French appear to be losing. When they regroup, Henry orders the execution of his French prisoners. The boys left to guard the English camp are killed by the French. The English are victorious and Henry resolves his quarrel with Williams.
In the aftermath, the French and English losses are numbered and Fluellen settles his score with Pistol. To reinforce his right to the throne of France on the death of the French King, Henry woos and wins Princess Katherine.
Running time: 164 mins
Henry V clip
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Claire van Kampen
Directed for the Screen:
Duke of Exeter:
Louis the Dauphin:
King of France/ Nym/ Sir Thomas Erpingham:
Earl of Westmoreland/ Captain Macmorris:
Bardolph/ Archbishop of Canterbury/ Duke of Burgundy:
Constable of France/ Governor of Harfleur:
Chorus/ Queen Isabel:
Duke of Bourbon/ Alexander Court:
Montjoy/ Monsieur le Fer/ Sir Thomas Grey:
What you have to say
Philip, Pershore Philip, Pershore
I was fortunate enough to catch this great Henry V. For those that missed it, this DVD gets you as close to that experience as possible. Jamie Parker works the groundlings in ‘the speech’ so well, which is the most electric interpretation I have ever seen. The chorus is so evocative and the whole feel of this play soaked in the Globe’s atmosphere. Wonderful stuff….
Emma Seddon @em_seddon
Brilliant production of Henry V!
Patsi Ann Thorn @PatsiThorn
Absolutely amazing show!!!!!!
Joel Phillimore @jdiphill
Barendina Smedley @fugitiveink
After stunning Henry V @The_Globe yesterday still have all those words & images swirling round in my head. Best thing I've seen for years.
Mark Kay @mkkanaban
Richard Brinck Johnsen @RBrinckJohnsen
Louisa Woodruff @Louisa_Woodruff
Joanna Lally @jmlally
Lillian Bikset @lillianbikset
#HenryV at The Globe is bawdy and bold, while inviting reflection. Elizabethan drama at its best. Not at all a museum piece. Jamie Parker balances strengths & weaknesses of #HenryV wisely. His performance will stay with me for a long time. As for Dominic Dromgoole's direction, it puts the emphasis on the motivation(s) and cost(s) of war. Timeless themes.
Rob Gue @RobGueRAF
Henry V at the Globe...amazing! Superlatives insufficient really, just so damn good!
Barendina Smedley @fugitiveink
Henry V @The_Globe is stunning - Jamie Parker's totally credible as the young soldier-king, in a production full of pace & humour & flair.
Beth Goodchild Beth Goodchild
Seeing my sons (aged 12 and 15) smiling, engaged and totally transfixed, leaning on the stage as Groundlings during 'Henry V'. Dearest Globe - you present Shakespeare JUST as it should be - the future generation of theatre goers are already becoming hooked.