Sunday, January 15, 2012

Henry VIII: All Is True

Another enjoyable evening of Shakespeare, courtesy of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (and its Production Sponsor, Charles Parsons); this time Opening Night of the seldom-staged Henry VII: All Is True by William Shakespeare (with some alleged involvement of John Fletcher; collaboration and/or revision). This is the play that literally brought down the house, as the Globe Theater was destroyed by fire during an early performance. According to Wikipedia:
On 29 June 1613 the Globe Theatre went up in flames during a performance of Henry the Eighth. A theatrical cannon, set off during the performance, misfired, igniting the wooden beams and thatching. According to one of the few surviving documents of the event, no one was hurt except a man whose burning breeches were put out with a bottle of ale. It was rebuilt in the following year.
Fortunately, no such misfortune befell the CSC's production of the play. :) And what a production it was! Strong acting, choreography, set design. And the costumes! If this production doesn't sweep the awards for which it is eligible, well then, they ought to not bother having them.

I was especially impressed with the scene where the Surveyor is relating to the King something the Duke of Buckingham had said, and the actor playing Buckingham appears in the front row aisle with a spotlight, performing the same lines in synch with the Surveyor. A very cinematic technique, done without audio editing equipment that a movie maker would use, and it came off quite well, in live theater. You really need to see this show!! It runs through February 5, and tickets, I understand, are still available.

Photography is not allowed during performances, of course, but I was able to take some pictures during the pre-show reception, hosted by the ever gracious Charles Parsons, as well as after the performance. You can see these pics by clicking here, or on the images.

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