Thursday, July 29, 2010

Henry VI Part III

I agree--this Henry was terrific. It reminded me of an Ionesco play in a way. The play began with a chair dropping from the rafters and landing with a thud on the floor as audience members were chatting away from their seats. Then another hit. I noticed a pile of them were pushed off to one corner of the theater.

The story of the play is less complicated than it appears. There are dozens, or seemingly hundreds of characters here, but it is basically the story of Henry who, in his sunset years, no longer has the desire for the hurly-burly of governing:
My crown is called content:
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy

His wife, meanwhile, sees this weakness as a threat to their royal line, and a band of usurpers want the crown for themselves. There is a remarkable amount of side-switching.

This production is propelled by some terrific acting. It was full of subtle, tiny gestures, like Henry's reluctant sigh when he once again must remove his crown, that stay safely away from over-doing it.

The play ends on a note that stayed with me. Henry ends the play slain, and blood pours from the ceiling dripping on his flattened body. The play ends, the actors take their bows, and still there he lies, and still the blood pours, a metaphor for the chaos that the politicking in the play as unleashed on society.

Before writing this post, I have to say that I scoured the Internet for reviews of productions of this play. Unsurprisingly perhaps, I could find none. If Henry 6 Part 3 is as capable of holding productions as terrific as this one, let's hope the future newspapers are filled with reviews of thsi play

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