Henry V Rehearsals Day 8

We had an interesting array of balls, boardrooms and bananas in our rehearsal room today.
The ball exercise made its way into our warmup, waking up our actors with a sharp demand for focus. How long could we keep the ball in the air without it touching the floor? It looked a bit like a mad game of volleyball. But this was no game. This was war. Well not quite, but there was a present determination in the room to beat the last score of 66. Maybe it was too early in the day but we couldn’t seem to reach double digits higher than 12. Would Lazarus theatre company ever beat their highest score? Would we ever achieve that glory again?
Well it doesnt matter right now because the youth of England are on fire and we have a country to conquer. However before we took one more step clever Henry disposed of her pesky traitors, one who admitted it wasn’t even the money that seduced her into conspiring against her, she just wanted Henry dead. Sorry Hal.
With her brilliant imagery the Chorus took us all the way to France. Here we have a boardroom with an indecisive French King, a spoilt Dauphin and frustrated advisors. We are thinking of having the Dauphin chomping on a royal banana, showing complete disregard to the panic in the room, and in a moody ‘Lets just kill the bastards!’ strop. As arrogant and tempramental as he may seem perhaps he has a point, “Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin As self-neglecting”. Maybe there is more to this little Prince than meets the eye.
There is one last juicy bit of gossip I’m bursting to tell you but its a treat I really shouldn’t spoil. Can you keep a secret? No, I didn’t think so. Lets just say we are going to have a blast from the past. Oh yea, you heard it first here.
Oh and good news, we reached 72 in the ball exercize. Thats all from me now.

Well I definitely spoke too soon with the weather worshipping yesterday!!

Although, the dark foreboding clouds and clipping cold aptly framed our exploration of the text today. Especially in the ‘traitor scene’, where Harry and Exeter sentence three English traitors for treason who are seduced by the French for various reasons, to kill the King before he embarks from Southampton to France. As well as this, we delved into the relationships between The Dauphin, The King of France, The Constable of France and Exeter. What better way to do this with some table lounging, a big dollop of petulance from the Dauphin, some sinister words of warning from Exeter and of course some intense banana peeling. (All will become clear I promise!)

We also picked apart the chorus speech, where our very own Tewkesbury asks us to lend our thoughts and imaginations in what little space we have, to the magnitude and awe-inspiring embarkation of Henry’s fleet to Harfleur. This is the first time for me, that I really began to see such a vision in my minds eye. The might and majesty of it, even of the whole play and just how epic it is, how much is truly at stake for everyone. I tried to liken this to something tangible and more recent so that I could really get a sense of the magnitude. The Invasion of Normandy (D-Day) came to my mind and if you really want to get a sense of of the scale then search in google ‘The Battle of Normandy’ and look at the pictures, it’s unfathomable.

The buzzes of excitement and enjoyment increase in number every day from watching my fellow actors play, as we see certain character subtleties emerge as confidence and knowledge grows. Certain pieces of the puzzle are beginning to slot into place, and I can see this powerful, engaging, thought-provoking and sometimes wonderfully bonkers production emerging.

I am also pleased to announce that the flyers for the show have arrived! They look great and I have issued a carrier pigeon to go forth and fill every empty space, table, wall and notice board with our propaganda!! (…I mean flyers). Also if you do spot one of our flyers then please do note that the performance actually starts at 7:30 and not 7. (This is what happens when you rely on technology and not man power!) Although at least everyone will be nice and punctual! Otherwise it will be 50 press ups and 3 laps round the auditorium!

L.G – At Ease.


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