Dear Henry V,
As you married me this evening, I expect I might briefly hold your attention here. My name is Catherine, by the way, less often Cate. And I spend much of my life in exile in Geneva – close enough to France for the occasion. I have been going to Shakespeare since I was a young child, my father knew quite a few of the plays by heart and instilled a love of them. So, I feel like if I see a great Shakespearean actor I will recognise him and I sincerely think that is what you are, having seen you two nights running now.
The audience is always tempted, I’m sure to join in parts of Shakespeare because we all know some of it. But with rare exception a modern audience restrains itself. One such exception was when Jacobi as a young man played Hamlet (as I’m sure you will, if you haven’t already) and one night Winston Churchill was in the front row. As Jacobi set about To Be or Not to Be, he must have been nonplussed to discover Churchill going word for word with him, out loud for all to hear. (I do so wish I’d been there!) But for the rest of us, we are bound to you, but can you tell? Perhaps it helps to have it said. We are bound to you. Of course, I and my villages are particularly so until about 8.45 tomorrow night, no doubt.
Yours etc, Cathy
The show: Henry V Man and Monarch on until March 5.
At: Holden St theatres
Occasion: Adelaide Fringe 2017
The actor: Brett Brown, incredibly accomplished young actor. How is it he isn’t already a star? He nails Shakespeare. He has the lot, the poise and pose, the emotions, the courage and cowardice, doubt and certainty. He uses simple sets and devices to sensational effect. Stunning singing voice to boot. What can’t he do, I wonder?
Go: because it is shame on you if you don’t.
Stars: Out of five? At least six.