Henry V London transfer.

Last week there were two transfers of more than ordinary importance. One came from the National Theatre, and the other from the Royal Shakespeare Company. The Royal Shakespeare's production is Terry Hands's Henry V, which was at Stratford in the 1975 season. Alan Howard, who plays Henry, has, as we know from his moving and deeply critical interpretation of a distressed king in Peter Barnes's powerful The Bewitched, a remarkable capacity for entering into the psychological alarms and deficiencies of people in great places, so that he makes troubles and terrors of hundreds of years ago as vivid as if we were suffering them ourselves today. In Henry V, he see, with Mr Hands, not the chauvinistic, exalted warrior to whom the scent of battle is a desired aphrodisiac, but a man consumed with horror and fear of war but who, being in it, acquits himself with spectacular valour. To see this production and this performance is an extraordinary experience which raises one above the common level of one's life.

Harold Hobson

Sunday Times, 25.1.1976.


Playing Shakespeare/Henry V